Are you one of the fortunate few who have never endured heartache, loss, misery, loneliness, guilt, or shame? Me either. So let’s talk about brokenness and faith.
If we’re broken people, needing God’s help and healing, then why do we spend so much time acting like we’re fine when we’re not? What’s that about?
In my journey of savouring I’m considering the command in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I’d like to say I practice this but in truth I tend to avoid sharing anything with anyone. And I’m so busy pretending I’m fine I don’t have time to see what anyone else is wrestling with.
“When bad things happen and we don’t feel good, we wonder if God cares about us, or if He’s even there.”
But maybe I should be afraid to be vulnerable. People are mean. They judge and reject. And secrets can be shocking—disgusting even. Can I risk it? Can my loved ones handle the truth?
Tamar’s story begins as a fairy tale—and she’s a beautiful princess (2 Samuel 13:1)—but it doesn’t end happily ever after. In 2 Samuel 13:21 she’s described as a “desolate woman.” What happened in those 20 verses?
Well, life happened. Her half-brother first rapes her then casts her out of their home. Her response? Tamar tears her clothes, puts ashes on her head, and wails for all to hear.
I can’t get the torn clothing and ashes out of my mind. Tamar makes a public announcement of her shame; she puts it all out there for everyone to see. How different things are today!
“Maybe your life is a huge mess right now. Tell the truth and leave it with God.”
When I experience humiliation and embarrassment I don’t want to think about it. I become a hero and act like everything’s fine and ask God to take away the negative stuff. I do everything in my power to feel good again.
In Shattered Dreams, author Larry Crabb says many of us believe (consciously or not) that God made us to be happy. Then when bad things happen and we don’t feel good, we wonder if God cares about us, or if He’s even there. We begin losing our faith.
Crabb says we have much to learn in the midst of our pain and offers some important advice.
Three Lessons About Brokenness and Faith
- The journey to God will always, at some point, take us through darkness where life makes no sense
- The felt absence of God is a gift to gratefully receive. During those seasons of darkness He is doing His deepest work in us
- Feeling good is not the goal. When we feel bad, we have the opportunity to do battle against the enemy within that keeps us from entering the Presence of God with no greater passion than to glorify Him
Maybe your life is a huge mess right now. Tell the truth and leave it with God. Trust Him to bring good out of your situation. Don’t know what to say? Romans 8:26-27 says the Holy Spirit will help you pray. Don’t think God can possibly make your situation good? Romans 8:28 says He can and will.
We live in a sinful world, not a good one. And we are sinners, not saints. We make mistakes and we do things we regret. Sometimes bad things happen and they aren’t our fault but we have to live with the consequences anyway. It’s not fair, but it doesn’t mean God isn’t good. We need to stop trusting in ourselves to put things back together and give control to God. We need to let our burdens show so others can help us carry them.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us to get rid of every weight slowing us down and to keep moving. How do we accomplish this? “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Accept the challenge to allow God to use your brokenness to increase your faith.
 Larry Crabb. Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy. (Colorado: WaterBrook Press, 2001), 160-161.