LENTEN CONNECTIONS 2016: Give Him the Broken Places

Lent: A Time to Prepare

Give Him the Broken Places
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come.  He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world.  With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.  Hebrews 9:11-12
Each week I head to Superstore to do the family grocery shopping.  I’m an organized gal, so I scan the flyer beforehand, make a list and look for deals.  I cut the coupon that usually appears on the front page of the flyer, and know that if I spend enough that week I can trade in the little piece of paper for something of value.  Sometimes the coupon can be traded for a turkey, or a box of mangoes, or some other grocery item.  This past week I received a box of bath products that should keep the family smelling good for a long time to come.  Each week I know that I can redeem the worthless slip of paper for something of value.  As great as the deal appears to be, it’s nothing compared to the redeeming work Jesus did for us on the cross, and the value that comes when we allow Him to redeem our broken places.
All of us have hurts in our lives, some caused by our own actions and some by the acts of others.  And all of these things Satan has intended for harm; he wants nothing more than to keep us broken and weak.  Jesus says, “Come. Bring me your broken places. Come trade in all the sin and the pain and the anguish and let me redeem it. What has been ugly can become beautiful.”
I don’t know if there is an image uglier than Jesus dying, in agony, bleeding, because of my sin.  When I look at paintings of the crucifixion it makes me cringe, knowing I put my Saviour in that painful spot.  However, I also don’t know if there is an image more beautiful than that of Jesus dying on the cross, because the cross is also a picture of what Satan intended for harm being transformed into something incredible.  When Jesus was nailed to the tree and hung, wounded, at Calvary, Satan thought he’d won.  He’d successfully killed the only Son of God.  But when Jesus rose again, beating death, and bearing the price for my sin and yours, God triumphantly redeemed that brokenness and transformed it into something amazing and beautiful.  Death is no longer the victor.  Sin no longer has to rule our lives.  Brokenness no longer needs to define us.  God can take what was intended for harm, and if we turn it over to Him, He will faithfully transform that ugly place in our lives into something of beauty.
I have had broken places in my life that held pain so deep it took my breath away.  The cost of sin—my own and the sin of others—in my life has been enormous.  And yet, although I would never have the courage to choose these things, they have become almost precious because of the way God has redeemed them.  He has grown His image in me through what He has taught me.  I have grown in compassion and understanding.  He’s proved Himself faithful and so I trust.  He’s shown me His stunning, unbelievable love.  I’ve grown from somebody who was wounded and weak into somebody who is confident because I know who is holding me.
This redemption and healing that God offers us is never intended just for us.  Yes, it starts with us, but like everything in God’s kingdom, the focus is outwards, towards others.  Every time you help carry the burden of somebody struggling with what you used to struggle with, God’s redemptive power is at work.  When you refuse to judge because you understand the struggle, God’s redemptive power is at work.  When you join a cause, mentor a younger woman, love your husband and family more fully because of what you’ve learned, God’s redemptive power is at work.  When you allow God to use what Satan has intended for harm, to grow His character in you, you will be amazed at the power of His redeeming work.
Trust.  He is faithful and He loves you more than you can imagine.  He longs to take the broken places in your life and turn them into something beautiful.
Brokenness Aside by All Sons & Daughters
Prayer:  Kind Father, thank you for how much you love us.  Thank you for your redeeming work on the cross.  Thank you that everything in our lives can be transformed into something beautiful for your glory and our wholeness.  You are a good, good Father and we are so grateful.
Submitted by Karen Vine