Brokenness:Strength in Weakness
Brokenness:Strength in weakness:
2 Corinthians 12; 9and 10, NIV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I love going to the beach. Although I HATE the hot, humid weather, I love the activity of the beach; the seagulls, sand pipers, dolphins, and such. I also LOVE collecting sea shells, sand, and driftwood. I have a large, decorative jar in my bathroom that holds these treasures. See, I only get to the beach once or twice a year, so, it is a special thing for me to be able to go. Each time I go, whether it is a family trip with my son and husband, or a “girls only” trip with some of my best friends, it’s a special time, and I like to bring back something that ties into that trip.
This past Marti Gras, I went with some of “my girls” to the beach. One morning, early, some of us went walking on the beach. There were shells EVERYWHERE! I went nuts, taking pictures, and sorting through the shells to bring some back home with me. Many of them were very tiny; almost too tiny to see. Many were broken. Many were sort of plain-looking. But, I don’t only like the large, pretty, unbroken ones. I also love the ones that are tiny, or plain, or broken. For one thing, it’s the broken ones that help make up the beautiful, sugar white sandy beaches down here on the Gulf of Mexico, that I love so well. In its brokenness, beauty is derived; it’s God’s plan.
I also wonder, if the different kinds of shells, starfish, and sand dollars could talk, what kind of stories could they tell us? Some of them may spend their entire existence on the same beach, or in the same area. Some, on the other hand, may start out miles and miles and miles away from where they start their journey. Some may have been tossed and turned by stormy seas, and endured untold difficulties in their journey. Some may seem “plain”, or tiny, and therefore easily be overlooked by those looking for the pretty, or large, or impressive shells. But, I have noticed, if you turn over some of the ones that are rather “ordinary” looking at first glance, they oftentimes turn out to be beautiful! I also like the tiny ones, and the ones with small holes in them; they are cute to make jewelry out of! And the broken ones; they are some of my favorites. I wonder why they are broken; what hardships they have endured, yet still they are there!
These seashells remind me of people; just like the shells, some are “pretty” and some are “plain”. Some have great stories to tell about how they got where they are today, whether it is their spiritual journey, or their actual journey through life, in moves from place to place, or whatever. Some spend their entire lives in the same place, while others have experienced vast travels. And, some, just like the shells, look plain, or tiny, at first glance, but upon further inspection, turn out to be beautiful; you may think someone has an ordinary life, then find out that they volunteer at a homeless shelter, or take meals to a shut in, or reads to those in the nursing home. And the broken ones; well, just as with the shells, they are some of my favorite people. It’s our brokenness that makes us more human, more approachable, more relatable. For, who of us, in our lives, haven’t at one time or another, been broken? Maybe it was the loss of a job, or a child, or a marriage, or a spouse. Maybe it was a downward spiral into a life of sin, that left us broken and used up. Or maybe it was just life; maybe you are just burned out on all of the ‘”things” that you are called on to do, day after day after day. But, it’s in our brokenness that God can often perform the greatest work. Just as in our own life, our brokenness reveals God’s glory, His strength, and His perfection. It’s as God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 12; 9 and 10. And although at our time of brokenness, it can be difficult to remember that His grace in sufficient for us, it IS just that. Sufficient. Enough. Adequate. Just what is needed. God’s grace is sufficient. For whatever we are going through. And on the other end, is the promise that His power is made perfect in our weakness. For when we are weak, but still come through strong, it can be nothing BUT God that brings us through. And His Glory is revealed. Even though at the time of our weakness, we may find it difficult to do, His Word says we should delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. Because it is then that when we are weak, we are made strong.
Dear Lord, remind me that it’s okay to not be perfect. To be overlooked, or ordinary, or even broken. That I only need to cling to you, lean on your strength, and know that, in the end, my brokenness will be made into something…beautiful. God, remind me that your power is made perfect in my weakness, and that in that weakness, I am strong. Thank you, Lord, for loving me through my weakness. Amen.