Bible, Faith, God, Jesus, Trials

Broken

broken butterfly

I feel like this butterfly today. A little bit broken. Of course God gave me the gift of finding this beauty in my garden right when I needed it most. He tends to do that. He’s just that good. I wasn’t feeling particularly faith-filled this morning. Actually, I was feeling pretty lousy and just plain worn out. I told God, “I can’t do it anymore. I’m done. Fully cooked.” I brought Him my exhaustion, anger, fear, and doubt. He listened. He still loves me when I feel broken.

This beautiful butterfly with torn wings still did exactly what it was designed to do. It stopped to drink nectar and pick up pollen along the way to help pollinate lots of flowers. The brokenness didn’t stop it’s mission. This butterfly that God made still has purpose, torn wings and all. He can use my brokenness too. God shines through our broken pieces.

Life is hard. I wish it were always puppies, kittens, and rainbows. It’s not. I wouldn’t grow if life were perfect. I wouldn’t rely on God. I wouldn’t cry out to Him. I wouldn’t trust Him. I wouldn’t need Him. The truth is I need my savior, Jesus. I need Him every moment of every day. This world is imperfect and is not my home. I’m just passing through and along the way learning how to be more like Jesus. I’m not always the best student, but God is a patient teacher.

Brokenness is a requirement for spiritual growth. God will allow us to come to the end of ourselves. He wants all of us, not just bits and pieces. He knows us like no person on earth. He is our creator and knows exactly what we need to get to the place where we need to be. It’s going to involve pain. I know that’s not happy-go-lucky theology. It’s truth.

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”(NIV).

Yep, our faith must be tested. God’s been teaching me perseverance lately and I’m not thrilled about it, but I know it’s necessary if I’m going to be any good for the Kingdom. He wants me mature and complete. God doesn’t hurt me or cause me pain. He does allow circumstances to draw me to Him. Ultimately, that’s what He wants. Me. All of me. And if struggle accomplishes that, so be it.

Here’s the really good news about being broken. God shows up there! He is so faithful. Every time I come to the end of myself and think I can’t take it anymore, God meets me there. And it’s a wonderful thing to feel that love He has for me. To be encouraged by my sweet, precious Jesus. Doesn’t mean all my problems just poof, go away. Something bigger happens. He comforts me. Sings over me. Loves me. Holds me. Now that’s exciting, life changing kind of stuff. So, I’ll take broken, even if I hate it, if it brings me closer to my Father. Because I wouldn’t be as close to Him if I didn’t go through trial.

My feelings of brokenness do not change who God is. He does not change (Malachi 3:6). Jesus does not change (Hebrews 13:8).  If I am feeling down or discouraged that doesn’t change God, the Rock (Psalm 18:31), or how He feels about me. It also doesn’t change His plans for me. What God starts, He finishes.

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).

One thing you can be sure of is that God is working out something beautiful for you and through you, in spite of your brokenness and because of it. He is working for your good and my good. That’s unbelievably excellent news!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).

Stay with me for a minute. That verse gets used A LOT. We know means it’s a sure thing. Not “I think” or “maybe”. We know means it’s solid because we are relying on God to handle it. We know God is at work on our behalf. Woo hoo!! That’s good, good news. God can do things through brokenness that no one else can. He’s God and I am not.

If you are broken right now my heart goes out to you. It’s a very difficult place to be, especially if you’ve been broken for a very long time. Please be encouraged that God has not forgotten you. He has a perfect, beautiful plan for you, and yes, it involves brokenness. But, it does not mean you will have to remain there. You are loved! You are not forgotten, and your Heavenly Father is waiting with open arms to embrace you. Cry out to Him. Tell Him all your hurts. He can take it.

 

Dear Lord,

I lift up all the broken people who are reading this. You know every pain, heartache, and disappointment. Let them bring each one to you and lay them at your feet. Bring healing, comfort, and hope. You are The Rock and there is no one like you, who can take our pain and do something beautiful. We give it all to you!

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

God

Perfectly Imperfect

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For several days I was trying to get a picture of a butterfly with no success. They would just fly right past me. I had given up and didn’t see any butterflies for weeks. Then out of nowhere this gorgeous swallowtail stopped and posed for me. I took a few pictures, turned around, and it was gone. It’s beautiful. Perfect. Or so I thought. I noticed a broken wing tip. Still beautiful, but imperfect.

Physical beauty is revered around the world. We love aesthetic. There’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself. God has made beautiful things and people. His creation is exquisite. From people, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, planets, and everything in between. I am blown away every single day at God’s creation. From my youngest son’s freckles on his cheeks to the variety of palm trees just in my backyard alone. Beautiful. Perfect.

The problem is with people. If we give a person value based on what we see, it’s wrong. Perfect hair, skin, clothes, and being thin, look good to our human eyes. Yep, that person must have no problems. They are beautiful. Perfect. Upon closer examination we will find physical imperfections. If we look deeper into their character, we will see they are actually not perfect. Just regular humans like you and me.

God made each of us perfectly imperfect. He made no mistake how you and I are made, imperfections and all.  Some of us have physical or mental disabilities, diseases, and all sorts of afflictions. We are made this way with the purpose of God shining his light through our weakness and brokenness. We need Him. We all have issues and struggles whether physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional. These issues can either tear away at our beauty or His light can shine through them and make us beautiful.

The truth is real beauty is inside of us. Not outside. What God cares about the most is our heart. He looks straight through the exterior stuff to our hearts. All throughout the Bible the heart is mentioned figuratively as the core of who we are. Our heart condition determines our attitudes and actions, and defines us. Our heart is so important that we need to guard it since life flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). 

When Samuel was sent by the Lord to anoint a new king of Israel he thought for sure, based on appearance, that Jesse’s son Eliab was the one. Eliab was Jesse’s oldest son and must have looked pretty good to Samuel. Like a king should look. Tall and strong. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV).  Ultimately the youngest son David is anointed king. Just a shepherd boy.

God cares about our hearts deeply. It’s more important than any physical attribute or deficiency. Our heart tells who we are. A heart with Jesus as Lord has hope. There is healing. Forgiveness. Grace. Peace. Joy. Love. Help. Comfort. Kindness. Mercy. (I could go on and on). And one of the most amazing things, eternal life in heaven! Let’s completely surrender our hearts to God.

1 Samuel 16:7b “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NIV).

Love you all,

Meghan