Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Our daughter-in-law grew up in the desert. So, the first time she saw the ocean, and the seashells that are all over the beach at low tide, she said, "Can you keep them?" She did! I mean, the good news is, "Yes, you can." And we've loved collecting seashells when we've had opportunity to spend time along the coast. Some of those shells make it to the shore totally intact. Others, well you know, are broken, sometimes by the surf, sometimes by seagulls who've peck them open to get at their yummy tenants. Occasionally, I've found a particularly striking treasure, though, like the conch shell that I picked up a few years ago. It was badly broken. But inside there was some amazing beauty-beautiful swirls in white and blue and pearl, and it made an incredible design to behold. Outside, that shell was just like rough and plain-just another shell-but not on the inside. I never would have seen its unforgettable beauty if it hadn't been broken.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beauty From Brokenness."
God displays some of His most beautiful creations through broken things. Maybe broken is a word that in some way describes you right now. Then it's possible He could show folks some of His beauty through you.
As hard as that might be for you to believe right now, you need to hear what your Creator has promised to broken people in our word for today from the Word of God. It's in Isaiah 61, beginning with verse 1. Speaking of Jesus, the Bible says, "The Sovereign Lord has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...to comfort all those who mourn...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." God says that, through His Son, He wants to unleash in your soul healing for the pain of your past, and a freedom from the darkness that has brought you down. He wants to turn what's been something ugly into something beautiful and something life-giving.
He goes on to say of the broken people He touches that "they will be called oaks of righteousness...for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated...All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed." So, God says He wants to do a powerful restoring, hope-giving work in broken people, so He can use them to do a powerful, hope-giving work for Him in a broken world.
I know He does that. I've seen it in a team of young Native Americans who have lived the despair of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual abuse, and suicide on this continent. They are broken! But with Christ now in their lives, they go on our On Eagles' Wings team to the heart of North America's reservations telling their hope stories. And a generation that hasn't listened to anyone, that's written off Jesus as the white man's God, listens to them. And they have led literally thousands of Native Americans to Christ, because the light shines more brightly through broken vessels...a broken vessel like you maybe.
They will listen to you because of your scars. They can see through your wounds the amazing beauty of a joy and a hope that only a Savior like Jesus can give. If you'll turn away from your despair, and maybe your bitterness, anger, self-pity, and give your brokenness to Him, He can do that miracle for you.
The songwriter was right when he said this, "All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife. But He made something beautiful of my life."