Is it possible to break a person?
How do we know when we've been broken?
Or do we just feel broken?
What if when we feel cracked, we're really being molded into something - someone - who is stronger?
What if we are being bent into the new shape God has for us to handle the journey ahead?
One of my favorite analogies has always been that of the broken vessel.
Each life starts out as a whole being, created with ultimate love in the perfect image of God, the Creator.
But sin nature begins to weaken us, creating stress fractures throughout our vessel. Giving in to temptation, choosing to act in ways that are in direct opposition to His Will for us, creates cracks from the fractures.
Eventually, our entire vessel - ourselves - our heart and our spirit - begins to crumble.
And yet, we are not finished. He is not finished.
|Broken Vessel by Deborah Smith|
His loving, forgiving hand is always there. Hovering just above us. Shielding us. Waiting for us to reach up and take hold.
And when we do, His love, His forgiving grace begins to pour into us, filling those cracks. Not repairing them - instead, strengthening them with His very presence.
And we become even more beautiful in our imperfection.
We become lanterns, living examples of the power of God, the perfect Father. Of His incredible, strong, and overwhelming love for each and every one of us.
Each. One. Of. Us.
He loves us so much that it's as if every single person is the only person in the world, the only one He has to give every ounce of His love to.
By it's very nature, forgiveness allows for a transformative healing - creating strength, wisdom, and joy where there once was cracks.
To quote the prophet Isaiah (61:1-3): "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God; to comfort all who mourn; to place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes, to give them oil of gladness instead of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a faint spirit."
We are made for so much more than the pain this life brings.
We are His anointed.
Every single one of us.
By God Himself.
Once we realize this, once we embrace this, once we own this identity, the knowledge is stunningly healing and empowering! The grace radiates from us, touching every single person we meet. Making their lives better. Bringing God closer to them. Pouring His love directly into their cracks.
I will leave you with one of my favorite songs, Beauty For Ashes, by Crystal Lewis with Ron Kenoly.
May you know that you are never alone. You are never broken. You are never lost. His hands are there. His arms are open. All we have to do is look up.