I had routine blood tests run yesterday. This morning I received a phone call from my physician’s office informing me that I needed to schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor to review the results. What? Immediately, I felt broken.
I asked the receptionist if she could tell me which numbers were off. She did…and I felt even more broken.
One of the numbers was an indicator of something I might have some control over. Suffice it to say, the number made me feel ashamed, loathsome and like I might have a heart attack at any moment. Broken.
The other number just came out of the blue. Sure, I’ve had a few symptoms that might indicate this condition, but I hadn’t really considered it. This is a number I have no control over. It just indicates that something in my body isn’t working up to snuff. It’s broken.
At 10 o’clock this morning we scheduled my appointment for 10 a.m., June 16th. At 10:10 I called the office back and rescheduled for 2 p.m. today.
I don’t like feeling broken.
It doesn’t take a medical diagnosis to make me feel broken. I feel broken when a precious relationship is strained, when the people I love are hurting and I can’t make it all better, when I’m tired and still have a distance to go, when I can no longer bear the weight of a burden alone or when my emotions are all out of joint. And I feel broken when someone hurts me, pushes me aside or leaves me out. I feel even more broken when I sin against God…again.
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” (Psalm 31:12)
Here’s the problem with brokenness.
The enemy knows how to sneak in through the cracks of my brokenness. Even today, when I was alarmed by my broken health, the enemy quickly slipped in and infused me with fear and anxiety and hopelessness.
Being broken–whether the malfunction is physical, emotional or spiritual–makes me susceptible to the schemes of the enemy. If I listen to his whispers about my brokenness, I begin to believe that I am missing something that others have. He makes me want to hide or run away. He takes advantage of my brokenness to slap labels on me. And he shows me shiny pictures in which others appear whole and able and healthy and perfect. Meanwhile he tells me I’m “disqualified” because I am characteristically fragile, needy, inconsistent and weak.
But brokenness doesn’t have to be an invitation to the evil one.
I’m sorry to say that it was about an hour after I’d received the alarming phone call before I thought to pray about my situation. Until then I’d given the enemy freedom to traipse through my mind, stirring up anxiety and alarm.
But once I invited Jesus into my brokenness, the enemy had to flee. The Light of the world brought clarity and banished the darkness, where anxiety had begun to breed. Fear was replaced by peace, hope and faith.
I still felt broken, but I no longer felt scared or ashamed. Suddenly my brokenness felt more like an invitation for a miracle than a citation for a mistake. The guilt dissipated in the presence of the grace Giver.
Truly, we’re all broken people.
Because of sin–in us, around us, between us, even before us–we live in a broken world…in broken bodies…with broken minds and hearts. Yes, we are broken. Even if our blood counts are perfect, we’re not.
If I try excessively to conceal my broken places, I risk hiding out in the dark, where the enemy lurks. He compounds my brokenness with feelings of shame and doubt and anxiety. But if I expose my brokenness to the Light of the world, He shoos the enemy away and replaces those unreliable emotions with peace and hope and trust.
Not only that, but Jesus uses my broken places to shine His light into a world that is also broken. He has chosen to use this earthen vessel–this broken body, mind and heart of mine–to display His grace and love for all to see (2 Corinthians 4:5-12). Jesus shines through the broken.You can allow the enemy to magnify your brokenness or your brokenness can magnify the Lord. Click To Tweet
Do you feel broken today, dear friend? I understand. Me, too. But rather than give the enemy the advantage in our brokenness, let’s commit to inviting Jesus in. Let’s resist the urge to cover our brokenness with shame and instead let’s expose it to the Light of the world. Yeah, others may see just how fragile and torn we are when we do. But they’ll also see Jesus. And they’ll find hope and peace in the One who once was broken and poured out for them.
If your heart is broken today, I have some help to offer. You may find some healing and hope through my 10-day Prayer Journey for the Wounded Heart.