Sometimes when I receive something from the Lord, explaining that idea or thought to another seems almost impossible. Perhaps this is why Jesus, himself spoke in parables. God has been revealing to me throughout this season of my life the important role of brokenness.
Broken starts a process.
A few nights ago in meditation and deep thought about my own process, the Lord reminded me of a discussion I’d had many, many years ago about the process of giving birth to a child. I’m not going near that conversation in this post for the sake of delivering the gruesome details. But to make a long story short, the process of child birth is beyond invasive to the female body – breaking many things, in order to deliver the one thing that the mother is anticipating – that beautiful new baby. Quite amazingly, all of the pain and brokenness is soon forgot and heals quite nicely as the focus is shifted on new beginnings and new life given.
Broken is necessary for transformation.
We know that trials and troubles are purposed in our lives because HE said that the righteous will suffer many afflictions. He also said that all things are purposed for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. So in understanding that the ones who are made righteous through the blood of Christ are called according to his purpose, it’s pretty clear he’s talking about us – WE are the ones who will suffer many afflictions. But why? Along the same lines as the example above about giving birth and the process of new life beginning, I was led to research the butterfly, late last night while designing a logo for Broken is Beautiful. I’ve never been a girly girl type and I’ve never had any interest whatsoever in butterflies. So it was interesting to me that the butterfly was the first thought and the absolute thought that landed in my mind. Interestingly, the caterpillar goes through a very strange and borderline suicidal process on its way to becoming a butterfly. Oh and, as a disclaimer I’m so far from a science expert so if my words seem out of line with what you’ve been taught in textbooks it’s because I did not get my ideas from them. Anyway, the caterpillar basically decides its going to stop living. It starves itself, denies its body the necessities that the flesh craves, curls up in a ball and then digests itself, (sounds kind of gross, I know). Then this amazingly beautiful process happens and that caterpillar wakes up as a beautiful butterfly that can soar through the skies. So much for living life squirming in the dirt – I refuse to be a caterpillar anymore, I’m dying to this flesh and moving onto something better! Sound familiar?
Jesus said we must die to our flesh. He said we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow him. In another interesting exchange, Jesus told the people that they had to eat his body. This is where most of the disciples that followed Jesus decided to leave him – few could comprehend and accept such a thing. They though he was mad, suggesting that they EAT his body. And I’m pondering the way I felt when I learned that a caterpillar digests itself.. Anyway, when he broke bread for his disciples he passed it around and said eat this, it’s my body which is broken for you. Think about that… Broken FOR YOU! As a mother I remember thinking that so many times when I looked at my children, hurt or upset with them in the midst of a situation, asking myself, “How can they not know everything I’ve sacrificed for them?” And tonight as I look at this little season of parenting, I realize that my sacrifices for my children are nothing, (not even in the same universe) as the sacrifice that God made for me. When I slave to make a way for my kids to have a better life, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE. When I do without something that I WANT so that I can help a neighbor to have something they NEED, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE. When I fall on my knees and ask God to have mercy on a family that I’m following on facebook, that I’ve never even met, with tears streaming from my eyes and a heaviness weighing on my heart, I’m broken with a purpose in LOVE.
Broken is Beautiful….
Broken is beautiful, not because it’s a place that anyone wants to live inside of. I’ve never heard of a woman in labor, laying on a hospital bed, screaming at the top of her lungs, “This is amazing! I just want my life to pause right here so I can spend eternity in this excruciating pain!” Of course that would never happen. No one likes the pain, but we endure it because we know what it accomplishes. We bite down, grit our teeth and battle to get through it because we KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT what comes next… and we know it’s beautiful. And if broken things birth beautiful things – if afflictions are where we are living when God’s hand comes down and DELIVERS us out of that affliction, then isn’t broken a necessary, crucial and even beautiful part of our process?
If you’re broken tonight…. I pray that you see past your pain into the moment when that lifeless, suffocated, starving caterpillar wakes up to its new life, spreads its wings and soars through the sky as a beautiful butterfly. If you’re broken tonight…. I pray that through your brokeness, you can focus your ears on the moment when the laboring mother hears that baby cry, and new life is born. If you’re broken tonight, I pray that the Lord give you understanding of the cross of Jesus Christ and the promises that will never return void – understanding that the old man must die in order for the new creature to be born IN HIM. If you’re broken tonight I pray that you know, i mean REALLY KNOW that God will not leave you there – but that the best is yet to come.
I love you all and I’m sorry if I struggle to communicate the things the Lord reveals to me. I’m also just a caterpillar in the process – learning each day how to lay down my life for Christ. I’m tired of creeping through the dust and I yearn to become that butterfly – seeking His kingdom first and wanting to know Him deeper with each day that he gifts me here.
God Bless You All.