I’ve always been fascinated by the shattered glass look- how something so broken, shattered, jagged and sharp could be so…beautiful…and useful. So many times, I’ve lost track of time in a store, just staring at one of these beautiful creations. Each time, always in awe, trying to figure it out- how it came to be or why but never understanding. Then, finally, I’d settle for appreciating it with respect for its beauty and usefulness despite its brokenness. These past few weeks, I’ve been reminded just how broken and fragile I am, and in my brokenness, God began to speak to me more clearly.
Dear reader, as you know, this site is branded “Looking for God #HEISEVERYWHERE”, so please allow me to share with you how I found God…in the brokenness.
As you may already know and have experienced, this COVID-19 virus has really rocked everyone’s world. Those who were fortunate enough to keep their employment and work from home still have issues but just a different set. Internet/ network connection issues, for one! One day, my connection issues got so bad that I had to run up to the office to have my work equipment tested. Well, while waiting in this room for the IT guy to return, I watched the pouring rain from the storm pelt the ground. It rained and it poured! How many of you have felt like that about happenings in your life? “When it rains, it pours!”
Storms used to scare me until God shifted my perspective and gave me peace. God can use a storm to move things that need to be moved, adjust things that need to be adjusted, loose things that need to be loosed, shake things that need to be shaken, tear down things that need to be torn down in order to prepare things that need to be prepared for something new to be built. Praise God for knowing what needs to be done and in what season! God can use what seems like nothing but gloomy, sticky mud-producing rain to slow us down when we are going too fast, water what HE put inside of us and make us stick to where HE wants us and bloom where we are planted! Having learned this, I no longer fear storms like I used to fear them. Now, I have peace and show reverence, trusting that God, just like my grandmother used to say, “is doing HIS work.”
Leaning upon the window frame, admiring the beautiful storm, my eyes began to observe everything that was being affected by the storm- the parking lot, the ground, the fountain, the pond. Then my eyes settled on the lower window pane on the far end. It was shattered in countless pieces, yet it held- no leaks! The IT guy came back into the room, and we began to make small talk while we waited on the testing on my equipment to run its course. I pointed to the shattered pane, “Wow. Look at that window pane. It’s shattered into a gazillion pieces! I bet a lawn mower did it, huh?” “Yeah, more than likely,” he said. “It’s not leaking or anything,” I said, admiring its sturdiness. He walked over and touched the pane and knocked on it. “Yeah. It’s double pane. Only the outside is broken, but the inside is fine.” Each piece told a story and was connected to another piece that told another story. The whole piece was so interesting- so much to admire. It was like a web. Again my fascination with the glass and my attention to detail made my mouth fly open once more about this window, “Look in the middle on the left! You can tell where the rock hit the glass and started the ripple (domino) effect.” He touched the spot, “Yeah.” Then, that’s when I began to think back over different scenes of my life where I’d been hit just like that glass. Then God let me know, “This is you. I hold you together-no leaks. I am writing your story.” He had to remind me that it is HIS strength that keeps me together. It is HIS magnificent and infinite wisdom that knows how to place each piece of me in order to tell the story. HIS hands are the glue.
Out of all the times, I’ve seen shattered glass or mosaic pieces of art, it never resonated with me to the realization that I was looking at an image of myself. I am the shattered glass. The point of contact for blows may be obvious for some who see me, yet some may be my own private knowing. The blow affected and weakened certain parts of me and continued with a domino effect. Only God knows how far and how deep the cracks go. Only HE knows the limits. Still, what was weakened was made strong. What was broken was made more beautiful. What was plain is now eye-catching. What was overlooked, now has a story worth investigating. What was painful can now minister. My God! Help us all- we broken children!
When life hits me with blows that leave me in the fetal position, clutching my stomach on the boxing mat of temporal experiences, I trust that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 New Living Translation).
Even though the pain hurts so bad and leaves me wondering how long it will take me to heal this time, I can be assured that “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NLT).
When my wounds are bandaged and there are still more rounds to the fight, HIS Holy Spirit gives me another wind, nudges me on and whispers, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NLT).
Each time I am delivered a punch that sends my world cracking and I wonder, Lord, why so much pain!? HIS response is “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2nd Chronicles 12:8 NLT).
When it looks like I am losing the battle, HE says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
Thank God for HIS Holy Spirit because when the sweat of such fights blur my vision so that I cannot see the haymaker coming for my Salvation, HE prompts me to fall on my knees and pray! It is through obedient prayer that HE shows me that HE “is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NLT), and I dodge the blow!
Feeling the heat and seeing what kinds of attacks are aimed at me, though they miss, sometimes make me holler out Lord, help and force me to go back and study the “fight manual” on how to win. It says, “…the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT). How many of you know that when you’re right in the middle of a storm, God will give you peace and drop an uplifting song in your spirit?
This “fight song” carries me through to victory because I believe, “…I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NLT). Now this scripture doesn’t mean that I can go around doing everything and be successful. What it means is that what Christ gives me the blessing of His strength to do, I can do it! Make sure that you are aligned with HIS will!
Before the referee can finish counting down and announce my victory, another attack is climbing the ropes. Just when I’m about to fuss and yell out, Really!? the Lord is like, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NLT).
Looking back over my life, there have been countless battles and countless cracks. Countless stories, I could tell, and surely there are many more to go! Isn’t it ironic how what should weaken us makes us stronger for the rest of the journey? “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT). If I didn’t have the crack of abuse, I would not be able to minister to those abused in that same way. If I didn’t have the crack of losing it all and having to start over again from the bottom, I would not be able to minister to someone who had a similar experience. So many cracks in my life prepared me for the ministry that God is still birthing and developing inside me.
My cracks tell a story, and it is a privilege to share with whom God leads me and assure them of what God will do for them. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4 NLT).
So now, I have an even deeper appreciation for mosaic glass because God uses it to show me my reflection and that He is still writing my story…in the brokenness.