Oh, how I wish heaven would come to earth now. To live without brokenness, sadness, or sickness, without hatred or evil. And yet, what would my life, my faith, look like today if I’d never experienced the struggles in my past? It’s an interesting question to ponder. Today a sweet friend of mine, Marji Laine talks about the beauty of our brokenness and what one can gain from it.
Brokenness by Marji Lane
I confess; I’m a crier. I often gauge how much I enjoy a book by how deeply it touches me. And nothing affects me more than the black moment of a character. The point in which the hero has lost everything that matters to him. With nothing of value left, he surrenders.
It’s the turning point of a book, the time when the hero empties himself and changes the course of his life. But just as literature is a reflection of life, so is the hero’s arch a reflection of the believer’s walk with Christ.
Reba Hoffman, from My Book Therapy, mentioned in a chat the other night how we don’t get as close to the Lord during the good times as we do during the rough patches. It’s in the pit that we find our strength in the Lord. And scripture bears that out.
Ps. 34:18 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
At the times when we are at our lowest, the Lord comes close. His strength is made perfect at our weakest moments, so that even in the worst trials of our lives, we can have assurance of comfort. Of peace.
We rejoice with ease when the sun shines and the details fall into place. Joy comes through as well, with the knowledge that the God who gives peace is carrying us along. The verses and promises tend to sound trite in the midst of the storm, but looking back on some of our lowest times, the Lord reveals His tenderness.
John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you yet again.”
Your Turn: How has the Lord strengthened you through your brokenness?
This theme of Brokenness is reflected in the character of a new collaboration novella, A Dozen Apologies. When the main character, Mara, fell from her pedestal, she fell hard. With nothing left, she looked to the Lord and found a faith she never knew existed. But with that faith came a conviction to right all of the MANY wrongs she’d done to people. To read her story, find the posts on Write Integrity Press, and watch for the notice of the free e-book. (WriteIntegrity.com)
Marji is a homeschooling mom of 4 with the oldest working in the mission field in Africa. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church.
With decades of leading worship, directing and performing in theatre productions, and script-writing, Marji took the plunge to creating scintillating Christian romance and romantic suspense novels with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all. Visit her online at MarjiLaine.com, on Facebook , Pinterest, Twitter , and Goodreads
Read A Dozen Apologies, chapter by chapter, here.
Let’s talk about this. Pause to remember some of the more painful moments in your life. Were you a Christian? How did God show Himself real to you? How did He use that event to strengthen you? I’ve shared numerous, but one experience was so incredible, the memory of it remains with me often. It was prior to my diagnosis. I was so very ill, and yet, not knowing why, irrational fears abounded. I didn’t know if things would improve, if my health would deteriorate further. But each morning as I opened my Bible, I sensed God’s presence so strongly. Through the pages of Scripture, He told me again and again, “I’m here. I’ll watch over you and care for you. I love you.”
The Creator of the universe met with me. Daily. Made Himself known to me, intimately.
I experienced God in a way I never had before. It was so rich and deep, I can’t even describe it.
Those were such intimate moments, I grew to anticipate them, and there were times all I wanted to do was sit on my couch with my Bible. And there were times when that was all I did.
What about you? Do you have any moments you can look back and say, “Then! That was when God showed up.”? Maybe you’re going through something right now. Pause to consider Marji’s verse. Grab hold of it, friend. That’s God’s promise to you. He is close to the broken hearted, whether you feel Him or not. And the moment we take one step toward Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8) That is an “if-then” statement you can bank on.
Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living By Grace on Facebook.
Additional posts and resources you might find helpful:
Stronger Still by Edna Ellison
It’s true. My dad passed away suddenly when I was 28. It was during and after that time that I found the Lord in a much deeper way than I’d ever experienced before.
Oh, Jen, I can’t imagine how painful that must have been and must still be. 😦 But what a blessing that God drew near to you during that time. Hugs, my sweet friend!
It took so long to get over, but God never left me…
Great post by Marji. I love this site, Jennifer. There is spiritual nourishment found here every time I come to it. I also loved the picture. Is it okay to share it? There are a few things that I especially cherish and one is a picture of a rainbow, a sunflower, a lighthouse and sunset or sunrise over the beach.
Ann, thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂 I love how God can use so many avenues (the Internet, Facebook, cards, phone calls, pictures), to remind us of His presence, to encourage us, and to draw us closer to Him. Yes, of course, feel free to share it.
I’m not sure if you read the caption, but I took it while out on a walk. Halfway through my walk, when I was furthest from home, dark clouds swarmed in and unleashed their storehouses. I was annoyed to say the least, and ready to be home! Complaining about the timing of it all, I paused and turned around. And that’s when I saw the rainbow. It halted me completely–my complaints and thoughts. In that instant, I knew that was a message from God to me. And I don’t say that lightly. I know we often see things and say, “There’s God.” And I’m sure that’s true. But in that instant, I *knew* in my heart and spirit God was showing me, very vibrantly, His grace and presence amidst the storm.
And then, the storm passed, as suddenly as it had started, the sun returning again. But that moment, though fleeting, was forever imprinted on my heart.
That picture is gorgeous, Jennifer, and the story behind it is even better.
I’ve had times when I’ve experienced this, but just yesterday I was speaking with my son who is a missionary in Ivory Coast. His thoughts directly correlate to this discussion.
He was assigned to an isolated, primitive village for two months. Mostly alone and unable to speak the primary language, he felt like he was in prison. Add to that a spiritual vacuum because the church there consisted of one family. It took many weeks before he realized God was teaching him to be still.
Now in a new village, larger and with better communication, he is so thankful for his difficult experience because it allowed him to be alone the Father and feast on His word in preparation for the demands of his new situation.
What a wonderful example of a heart in tuned with God! I’ll have to shoot you an email one of these days soon. I’m working on a proposal for a nf book, and I’m thinking you’d have stories and insights my readers (and myself!) would find helpful. 🙂 But it may be a while. I’ve got some fiction proposals to get to my publisher first.
Looking forward to your email!
Encouraged by this post.
I’m so glad, Vona!