We’ve all, at one time or another, had a favorite toy. The older we get…the more expensive those toys become. Inevitably, like anything else in this life, those toys break. And when it’s one of our favorites our heart sometimes breaks too. It’s just how we are. We can’t avoid becoming attached to this object that brought hours of entertainment into our life. It provided an avenue for our imagination to roam free and challenges the boundaries of reality.
But no more…it’s broken. Sometimes the breaking came from something we did. We made a choice that caused this beloved object to suffer its now inoperable fate. We broke it. There are other times, though, that someone else breaks our most favorite, beloved toy. They broke it. Regardless of where we can place the blame one thing remains fact…it’s broken. Nothing can change it. We can no longer derive joy from interacting with our precious ‘whatever it was’.
So what do we do with those broken things? If we act like most people we throw it away. It no longer serves the purpose it was made for. It no longer functions properly. It’s now useless…isn’t it? For the most part this is true. We may be able to superglue it back together or buy a part and repair it but it really isn’t the same. We shelf it to keep the memories (think Toy Story when Woody’s arm tears).
But wait… What do we do if we’re the one that’s broken? What if the thing that needs repair is something deep within us? Do we apply the same logic to life as we do to things? Now we all know the answer to that…it’s a resounding “NO!” But sometimes people act like the same rules apply. They treat us differently and make the broken thing inside us that much more noticeable. And that makes us feel more broken and more useless. It amplifies the problem rather than providing a solution.
Just like with our toys the brokenness comes sometimes from choices we make and sometimes from choices others make. In my opinion…it’s the choices that others make that cause the deeper wounds and make healing more difficult. Those choices also amplify our uselessness in the midst of the brokenness and make us feel like we should just be shelved to preserve the memories. It’s easy to ‘shelve’ our self. It lessens the pain and anguish of the brokenness. But God never intended that for us…did He? No He didn’t.
If anyone could shelve himself I believe it was David. He definitely contributed to some of the situations he found himself in. But there were others that were totally because of what Saul did. He never chose to live in a cave. He never chose to leave his family. He never chose to fight for his life. But yet…here he was doing just that…because of something someone else was doing. And yet he still wrote, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me… (Psalm 23:4 NIV)” David knew something that we need to know…God is always there. I mean we need to KNOW it. Our head tells us that He’s there…but our heart doesn’t. It’s in the broken times that our head and heart need to synch up so that we can weather the raging storm.
I’ll leave you with one last thing. Sometimes the breaking brings about something greater in us. Think of it like this…in order for a glow stick to ‘glow’ the interior tube has to break so that the chemical reaction can take place. This produces something that can light your way on the darkest of nights. Maybe…just maybe…God is using the brokenness in us to bring about something that shines through the darkness of this world to light our (and some one else’s) way.
So remember…when something gets broken…it’s not always useless.