God Uses Our Brokenness When We Abide in Him
Monday morning’s six o’clock alarm jolted me out of my slumbering as I lay deep in the warmth of quilts and comforters and wool and flannel, a depth as thick as the winter whiteness covering the February world outside the cutesy-character house I call home.
Why oh why must waking be so difficult—so not delicious as the mug of coffee I crave to sip?
Thoughts of the past sent a further shiver over me as I pulled off the warm covers and slid my feet into fuzzy slippers as blue as the mood weighing me down… like the willow branch I spotted cracking under its burden of snow.
The recent onslaught, hash-tagged #BCStorm, threatened to ruin our island’s reputation for being one of the mildest spots in Canada.
I thought about my own reputation and cringed as memories from the past spilled crimson over the washed whiteness of God’s grace. Christ promised to remove my sins as far as the east is from the west. I believe He did. But I couldn’t help wonder who I am to think anything I write is worth reading when a whole new set of sins settles so often on the branches of my soul.
But the Lord continued to whisper, “Abide in Me.”
And oh how I craved to be in Him, but thoughts of all the brokenness in me and around me in this old house of needing repairs in more than just the hammer and nails kind of fixing brushed against me and taunted me like a bully from the past who shouted, “Is that how a Christian should behave?”
No; I don’t always walk in the Light that I write.
Sometimes I stumble and fumble in the dark a lot longer than I know better not to. Sometimes I want to run deeper into the dark and live a fully self-saturated sinful life instead of biting my tongue that wants to bark back at any and all who treat me with the disrespect and disregard I learned to swallow in the past.
I washed my hands in the bathroom sink and looked in the mirror to see a set of sorrowing eyes who wished for a different set of memories, actions, and words. I sank into the sadness of it as I realized running away from the Light won’t work out any sort of salvation.
It would only breed more sorrow.
Lord, I’m empty. I’m so empty of anything good. But I believe You can meet me here in the brokenness of me.
Am I right?
I walked into my kitchen. I walked towards–not away from–His will for me. For I know He gave me a desire to write. And I’m beginning to understand it’s not about any sort of goodness I might manage to pull off. It’s about the pulling off of self and the filling up with Christ.
He can bring forth fruit from broken branches.
I carried my coffee to my chair and sat it on the coaster that’s covered in a menagerie of floral art. I set aside my menagerie of memories and worries as I read Genesis chapter 48 where Joseph asks his father, Jacob, why he’s blessing the younger son above the older son. His father says he knows what he’s doing.
The commentary in my Bible says God knows what He’s doing, too, when He chooses to bless people regardless of their low status in the world and regardless of their lack of credentials.
I inhaled and then exhaled.
Power and peace rushed in and filled up the emptiness in me.
He knows my mistakes, my regrets, and my weaknesses. It’s my willingness that matters more because it’s God’s will that matters most. He will bless whom He blesses. I can’t earn His favor. But if I fill myself up with the pride of me, I can’t be part of the bride of Him.
Repentance and forgiveness make room, make ready, for more of Him. It’s good when I see me as less than, because He is more than I need.
Jesus is always enough.
And all of this makes all of the sense I’ve been sensing in the writings of His word and in the words of other writers such as Laura Story who wrote: “He can redeem our stories while they’re still tattered, and we’re still in the brokenness.”
I like that quote. I don’t have to move out of my imperfect house or my imperfect me before I can write the story He’s called me to write.
I read another quote of Laura Story’s:
“God wants to use your story for the salvation of the nations. Not because of the greatness of your story, but because of the greatness of our God.”
Yes, yes, yes. Our God’s greatness is the vine who entwines me with the goodness of His grace and fruitfulness.
John 15:5 (NIV) puts it this way:
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.”
The emptiness and brokenness I felt when I first woke up in the morning was a call for me to cling to the Vine and receive a fresh filling of His lifeblood. It doesn’t say he who is good enough on his own strength, or he who is clean enough on his own, is fruitful; it says those who remain in Him bear bushels of fruit.
For without Christ, we’re rags–not riches.
Blessed by Broken
God’s blessings rest upon
A ready and willing heart
It’s never about one’s status
But upon holy and set apart
God’s blessings flow into
A vessel waiting on Him
It’s never about perfection
For He knows we’ve all sinned.
Wendy / 2017
Blessings Through Brokenness ~ Wendy
P.S. I’ve begun reading Laura Story’s book: When God doesn’t Fix It
The e-book version of it is on sale for $1.99 during February. You can read a sample of it for free at the link above.
Have you got a favorite inspirational memoir you think I’d love to read?