September 2013 has proven to be a month of ‘broken’ items for me. For two weeks in a row, several of my belongings broke down in succession. First, my car battery went flat while I was attending a Christian conference at Singapore Expo. Next, the digital lock to the main door of my home broke down due to an internal mechanical fault, so I had to get a replacement for it. Following this, our refrigerator’s freezer compartment broke down and had to be repaired. Finally, one of my old tooth fillings fell out and caused some discomfort for me. Visiting the dentist is not something I look forward to, but it was a necessary step for me to get the tooth fixed. Thankfully, these are physical occurrences that can be repaired or replaced, albeit incurring some inconvenience and unexpected expenses.
In life, we sometimes bear the burden of the ‘broken parts’ that sap our emotional, physical and spiritual energies. The breakdown in a relationship with a family member or a colleague can often create much stress. The tragic loss of a loved one, and the resulting pain or deep disappointment can discourage and crush one’s spirit. Likewise, when we are wayward in our spiritual walk or choose to live in pretense, we suffer the consequences of a distant relationship with God.
Henri Nouwen once said, “Our life is full of brokenness — broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives?”
When we come with true humility to seek after God even in our brokenness, God will be there to cheer and encourage us. The prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 57:15, “For this is what the high and exalted One says, the One who rules forever, whose name is holy: ‘I dwell in an exalted and holy place, but also with the discouraged and humiliated, in order to cheer up the humiliated and to encourage the discouraged’” (New English Translation).
Our Creator God takes a special interest in those who are hurting and need help. Let the Master Technician (Spirit of God) bring about the necessary repairs to our broken lives, and create space for Him to work and speak His Word into our hearts. In so doing, we will experience God’s healing.
Job writes in 23:10, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” I was reminded of this verse upon learning about “Kintsukuroi” — a Japanese technique of repairing ceramics with gold or silver lacquer, so that the repaired ceramic is made more beautiful as a result of having been broken before.
In our brokenness, God wants to do something beautiful, if we would only allow Him to.
Gold in the making,
Lam Kok Hiang, Country Leader