Until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do more harm than good. I sometimes unintentionally reduce poor people to objects that I use to fulfill my own need to accomplish something. I am not okay, and you are not okay. But Jesus can fix us both.
Grace infused in the sweet fragrances of suffering and brokenness for Christ’s sake results in a concentrated, undefiled extract of heaven.
Yes, we can believe God with all of our heart and yet have our heart broken by the loss of a child or the treachery of a spouse or the menace of a fatal disease. We know this is true — everyone in the church knows it. And yet, generation after generation of bruised saints have known something else and spoken of it. In the mystery of faith, we find a hand on us in the darkness, a voice that calls our name, and the sheer certainty that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God — not for this life and not for the life to come. We may be scarred and shaken, but as Lewis Smedes says in one of his sermons, we come to know that it’s all right, even when everything is all wrong.
When we stand in the middle of a lifestorm, it seems as if the storm has become our way of life. We cannot see a way out. We are unable to chart a course back to smoother waters. We feel defeated – and broken. Will that brokenness produce a cynicism that will keep us forever in the mire of if only thinking? Or will we yield up that brokenness to the resources of One who calms the winds and the waves, heals the brokenhearted, and forgives the most grievous of sins? The choice is ours.
The gospel of a broken heart demands the ministry of bleeding hearts…We can never heal the needs we do not feel. Tearless hearts can never be heralds of the passion. We must pity if we would redeem. We must bleed if we would be ministers of the saving blood.
Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.
The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.
Envied by some, despised by many, hated by others, often blamed for things I never heard of or had nothing to do with… often sick in body as well as perplexed in mind and embarrassed by circumstances-had not the Lord been specially gracious to me, had not my mind been sustained by the conviction that the work is His and that He is with me in what it is no empty figure to call “The think of the conflict,” I must have fainted or broken down. But the battles is the Lord’s, and He will conquer. We may fail-do fail continually-but He never fails. Still, I need your prayers more than ever.
Love finds no steady home in psychological health. I am sure God wants us to be whole and healthy in every way possible, but love neither depends upon these things nor ends with them. In fact, blessings sometimes come through brokenness that could never come in any other way.
If believers decay in their first love, or in some other grace, yet another grace may grow and increase, such as humility, their brokenheartedness; they sometimes seem not to grow in the branches when they may grow at the root; upon a check grace breaks out more; as we say, after a hard winter there usually follows a glorious spring.