Thursday, December 1, 2016

Broken Things

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.  Tears blur my eyes.  My body and soul are withering away.  I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness.  Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.  I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors—even my friends are afraid to come near me.  When they see me on the street, they run the other way.  I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.  I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror.  My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life.  But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!”  My future is in your hands.  Psalm 31:9-15a(NLT)
The young man who would eventually become Israel’s revered King David knew the anguish of being publicly humiliated and even hunted as a criminal by King Saul.  Without doubt David has a lot of brothers and sisters in brokenness.
There’s tragic sense about broken people that awakens us to the reality of suffering and the loss of youthful dreams or hope.  David felt like a broken pot, useful for nothing; at best his future seemed to have only the possibility of continuing to breathe-in the dust of other people’s pity or scorn.
But, even when hope seems completely gone, and faith has been shattered like cheap pottery, and the future seems as low as the view from the bottom of a snake’s belly, faith is never completely gone.  David prayed this prayer:  I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!”  My future is in your hands.
I’ve only recently begun reading some of Martha Snell Nicholson’s writings, and appreciating the wisdom and insight of a longtime sufferer.  She was sickly as a child, and suffered a number of serious health challenges that caused her to be bedridden for much of her life.  Among these were TB, anemia, a twisted spine and crippling arthritis.  Yet being an invalid for more than 35 of her 55 years never destroyed her faith, and hardly dampened her ability to encourage others with her writings.
Here’s how Mrs. Nicholson saw the David kind of brokenness in the hands of God:
We are now His broken things.  But remember how He has used broken things:  the broken pitchers of Gideon's little army, the broken roof through which the paralyzed man was lowered to be healed, the broken alabaster box which shed its fragrance abroad and the broken body of our Savior.
Let us ask Him to take our broken hearts and to press upon them further suffering to give us a poignant realization of the suffering of the world.  Let us ask Him to show us the endless, hopeless river of lost souls.  This will break our hearts anew; but when it happens, God can use us at last.[ii]

For You Today

Got troubles?  Good!  God uses broken things.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!

[i] Title image: By Kiran Jonnalagadda from Bangalore, India (Shattered glass), via Wikimedia Commons
[ii] Heart Held High, Martha Snell Nicholson

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