As I stared at the task in front of me, I felt totally overwhelmed. For the past several years, I had been looking at the leaning posts, the twisted and contorted vines hanging haphazardly, and the rotting and somewhat busted pew that was perched in the middle of the lane of the pergola.
It was there in our front yard. For all the world to see and scoff at when they came in our driveway. Not taken care of. Neglected. Forgotten. Ignored. Overlooked. Broken might be the best term I’d use.
So I set out on a task of repairing, renewing, restoring and rebuilding. Not a task that I was well-equipped to undertake, given that this is not a gift in my life. But I just figured I’d just work on one section at a time and, within time, I’d be able to get it back to its original state. Or maybe, close.
Sometimes I feel the same way. Broken. Forgotten. Ignored. Overlooked. Neglected. No, please don’t misread that, I’m not saying I want you to feel sorry for me. I’m just saying, for most of us, when we lay our heads on the pillow at night, we feel like our life is falling apart, and somehow we’re asking God to help us put it back together again.
And we wonder, will it ever happen. Broken. So many of us walk around broken, bruised, twisted and battered. Needing to be repaired, restored, renewed, and rebuilt.
How do we live broken? How do we live bruised? How do we live battered? How do we get healed from this disease called brokenness?
We long for our dreams to be fulfilled. But we don’t see it. We have hopes that we have lived for. But they are not happening. We have aspirations that we are walking towards. But we seem to never arrive.
How do you trust God through your brokenness? How do you keep believing in God while living in brokenness? How do you hope in God while living broken?
Sometimes in our brokenness we feel guilty that we are broken, like maybe it’s our fault that we are broken. But it’s not your fault that you are broken. It’s not your fault. You didn’t cause this to happen. You didn’t put this on your calendar, you didn’t schedule it, and you didn’t go looking for it.
But let me tell you, it’s okay to feel broken. I know we’re real good at concealing our brokenness. We mask it with a tough exterior, or we put more makeup on, or we hide it in the busyness of our life. We try to escape from it while driving our nice cars or watching our 75-inch flat screen TVs.
We bury it under projects to be done, deadlines to meet and appointments to keep. But at the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, and you lie there sleepless, and your body heaves a heavy sigh, that feeling overtakes you.
In the stillness of the night though, you do have one who is healing your hurts. You have one who is mending your mind. You have one who is loving you lavishly. You have one who is fighting for you fiercely. You have one who literally who gave His all, His whole life, so that you could be whole again.
Rest assured that Jesus has not forgotten your frustrations and your fragileness. He has not misplaced your misgivings. He loves you, He cares for you, and He is fighting for you, and He also fought for you as he hung, bruised, battered, beaten and bloodied, on the cross.
As I stand back and look on the finished project of my rebuilt pergola, I notice something. Even though it is somewhat back to it’s original state; straight and upright cedar posts, vines all trimmed back nicely. Its sight is one of conformity, as the lines are almost perfect. It’s clean, nice and easy on the eyes. It’s not contorted anymore, it’s not broken anymore. It’s been restored.
However, the other thing I recognize is, it’s been restored and renewed by reusing some of the old things. I just re-situated them in a better way. It’s also been rebuilt with posts that had been broken off other trees, but were good enough to use on this project. Nothing I used to remake this pergola was new. They were all seemingly broken pieces from another time, and another place. But now they’ve been reused.
That’s what God is doing in your life right now. He is using all of your broken pieces to renew and restore you. He is using your brokenness to make you whole again. Living broken doesn’t mean you are fixed. It means that in the midst of your brokenness, God is still using you, He is still healing you, and He and His promises for you are still true. And through it all, He may in fact be giving you a new purpose. It’s time to trust Him completely.