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Are you feeling broken?

If not today, there have been days, there will be days, when we all feel irreparably broken. Moments, days, years when it feels as though the very flesh of our heart is irreparably broken and you cannot imagine how it can still beat for the pain you feel.

Maybe it is a deep heartache of love lost, or the news from the doctor, or the academic goals that seem out of reach, or more bills than money at the end of the month, or the struggle of your child, your spouse, your parent, your friend, or the heavy darkness that simply

will
not
lift

or …

And you feel as though life as you know it … is gone.

And you cannot imagine it ever returning.

And you wish you could do something. Willing to do anything.

“Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face.”
Luke 22:44

And you look in the mirror, at your hands … for you know, at this level of brokenness, that one can indeed sweat blood.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me …”
Luke 22:42

And, like Christ, you have prayed, you have asked and begged that God would take whatever this horrible thing is, from you. That you would not have to face this news, heartbreak, fear, discouragement or rejection. That you would not have to face tomorrow.

” … yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Luke 22:44

How did Christ say those words? How could he submit to what he knew would end his life? How could he end that life, apart from his Father?

He was walking the walk of the broken.

Like Daniel who with “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18). Some have interpreted the verse to “but even if he does not, he is still good.”

Matthew Henry would said, “true devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it” …

there is nothing like brokenness to prompt us to raise our hands in defeat, in weakness, in forfeit, and give up … or confidently let someone else take over, accepting that, in doing so

it is not our will, but his …

and even if he does not intervene, we will still serve him

and he is still good.

When I am broken, and I have experienced brokenness, the only thing that keeps me going is the hope, the belief, that God is in the business of redemption. That it is through our darkest nights, through our deepest pits, through our heaviest heartaches that he makes something new and beautiful from the devastation in our lives.

I want my brokenness to be birthed into his redemption story.

But, before redemption, before re-birth into wholeness, there is the labor of the brokenness. There is submission to his will, his plan. Finally there is the acknowledgement that he is good, even if …

 

 

 

 

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“Dare to be a Daniel 
Dare to stand alone …”

I remember singing that Sunday School song as a child. I loved the story of Daniel, the Jewish prophetic prayer-warrior and his no-bending-to-the golden-calf buddies, who were sent to a furnace, where their Saviour met them in that hot spot. Some may say he was a dreamer (giggle …) in his Babylonian digs with the insomnia-suffering big guy, Nebuchadnezzar.

But there was a part that, as a child, I missed.

“Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

As I drove down the road this week, alone, I heard those words in a song … but even if you don’t, and the faces of people … real-life Daniels, came to mind …

that friend who lives with daily physical pain (and more), yet she intercedes for others in prayer.

that teen whose parents divorced, and yet her faith seems to grow every day.

that man who suffers from a brain injury after being hit by a distracted driver, and yet his laughter is his daily gift to many.

that parent who is aching from rejections from his kids, and yet he is available to them when they come to him.

that woman who is lonely for her husband, yet she knows that God is with her.

Despite pain, loneliness, rejection and other anxiety-prompting circumstances, they hope in the One who can change their situations … but who doesn’t always do that.

I think that the purest form of humility is worshipping one who can, but doesn’t always. He is able, he can … but even if he doesn’t, our hope is still in him … alone.

Even If is a song by Mercy Me. Maybe, today, you need the encouragement that such Daniel songs taught us in childhood.

“Give me the strength
To be able to sing
It is well with my soul”

 

 

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