Jeremiah and I were just reflecting recently on the reality of how annoying broken things are. So we had a leaky faucet. Doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal, right? Well, poor Jeremiah took it apart, found a piece that looked broken, and went to the store to try to find a replacement. One place didn’t have the part, so he went to another. Then when he finally got the part, it didn’t fix the problem. More diagnosis, more trial, more trips to the hardward store…finally, it was fixed, after many more hours than Jeremiah would have liked. I will say he perseveres, and takes care of our house and family well…
Anyway, it was frustrating. Yet it is satisfying to finally see a thing like a faucet fixed, and to know you helped fix it. And then there is the benefit (sometimes unappreciated in the moment) that a struggle with a “thing” like a faucet does develop character–perseverance, hard work, patience, etc.
So what about brokenness in others, or in ourselves? This can be equally annoying. Lets face it–it is inconvenient when we see our own junk. It is frustrating and embarasing when that same sin keeps getting in the way. We would rather explain it away or ignore it, or nuance it, or justify it…but that doesn’t glorify God, and doesn’t help us grow.
The thing that is good about brokenness is that it points us to dependence upon God. We have found in ministry that this is true both in relation to the brokenness we find uncovered in our own lives as well as the brokenness that becomes so clear in the lives of those we are seeking to minister too. Somehow, God uses it to refine us and to refine them. But this only works when we acknowledge it for what it is–usually rooted in sin. Then God can gradually bring healing; we learn to depend on Him; we get the joy of knowing Him more deeply and realizing his love is unending; we grow in character and contentment; and He ultimately gets more glory.
The hard part for me is the patience… I don’t particularly like the refining process in me all the time. I also don’t particularly like the lengthy amount of time it takes to help someone see victory over past hurts and current sins in their lives.
BUT, once God has been at work, it is truly amazing to see the beautiful tapestry that He weaves. And it always reflects His beauty, His artistry, His love, and His faithfulness. I long to see more of that. Yet there are no shortcuts. Real tapestries are not churned out in a factory–if you have ever seen the huge ones in museums, they are definitely unique, one of a kind artwork. I rejoice that I get to see God’s handiwork, and that I get to be part of showing people the depths of the steadfast love of God applied in our day to day lives.
Please continue to pray that the students here at NAU, as well as our children, would continue to grow in their knowledge of God and that they would trust Him to renew those broken places.