Recently, I sat and listened to an international worker’s life journey. The story’s early years were filled with broken parts—difficult growing up years with an alcoholic father who was abusive not only emotionally, but sexually and verbally as well.
As the story unfolded, it became apparent that the coping mechanisms and life resolutions developed during those early years became the strong platform and abiding trellis upon which her ministry life had grown. She came to her ministry with a strong understanding of brokenness, and she found that same brokenness in many of those to whom she ministered.
Now middle-aged and still having a fruitful ministry to broken people, she can look back and see how God’s permissive will in her broken journey had a constructive part in making her an effective worker today.
I listened to an advent sermon last week that was based on the long lineage of Jesus, as found in the book of Matthew’s first chapter. A statement that hit me, bold and underlined, was that while Jesus came to save the broken, He Himself came from the broken—those who were sinners, including those not deemed respectable in those times. Though sinless Himself, He came from a lineage of broken people.
Isaac Watts, a hymn writer, penned a phrase in his carol, “Joy to the World,”
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
In whatever degree of brokenness, there is, to that extent, His blessings of healing, wholeness, and freedom comes.
There is comfort for us today. Can we, who feel so broken, serve God? Can we, who live with suffering, pain, and anguish, find hope? Can we even be messengers of the Good News to the broken around us as well as to those in the far corners of this world?
As far as the curse is found, His blessings come today. Are you broken? Are you surrounded by brokenness? Be comforted; Jesus came from brokenness and He not only redeemed that brokenness, but He continues to walk with the broken.
Ron Brown is the Church Missions Coach at the WCD