Broken World

“It’s gonna get better, God’s just working on healing the world.” Many a Christian friend reassures one another.

What if it doesn’t? What if this world does not get better? Will you still believe him? If your faith is based on this world getting better and life getting brighter, I’ve got hard news for you. That faith may fail you. 

Sometimes, even unintentionally, we place our faith in things we believe God can or will do for us. I may believe that because God promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that he has plans to prosper us and not harm, that nothing bad will ever happen, or maybe I believe that even though things may go wrong at times, I’ll somehow strike gold or physically, life will go better for me. It may get better in this life for you. I’m not saying it won’t, I’m just saying don’t believe in the things God can do, believe in God. 

This world, it’s not our home. We all know that, but we don’t always like to admit it. Deep down, we understand that forever is not part of this world’s vocabulary, but we like to enjoy the here and now as much as possible. Yes, we ought to enjoy this life, it’s a gift. Every day brings new mercies and graces, but don’t expect this life. It’s fading quickly. The world may not end tomorrow. I’m not a doomsdayer and don’t expect the world to come crashing down all at once, but it could, would you still believe that God is good? 

We’ve all been through things that are no good. We’ve lost those that are close to us, or at least some close friend or family member. Especially this year with lost jobs, vacations missed, friendships seemingly put on hold. It’s a year that’s broken many of us, but it’s not the end. When you break a glow stick what happens? Pain leads to joy. Sometimes that joy doesn’t come in the morning, but it will come if not until that glorious day. 

Don’t rely on this world getting better. The politicians aren’t our saviors no matter how smart, strong, or kind. They are humans and I hate to say it but this world was never meant to be our home. How can we expect this to be a place we want to stay forever? God has so much more for you sweet child, oh, so much more. Let it go. Breath in the sweet air. He will refresh you and renew your strength. Count every day as joy, but don’t count it as home. It’s a journey. A journey home and someday we’ll get there, but take joy in this journey. 

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

James 1:2 (ESV)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Broken Beauty

“Hurt people hurt people” We’ve all heard the explanation when someone wrongs us, or at least I have. I don’t doubt it. When we’re broken, we have no way to express goodness and kindness long-term because all of our beautiful pieces are scattered across the floor. Yes, hurt people certainly hurt other people as well as themselves. 

It seems like a  never-ending cycle, a downward spiral that ends in the destruction of humanity. Before you cast your lot on the day this will downward spiral reaches its end, see the hope. For this cycle was never God’s plan. If anyone tells you they’re anything but broken, they’re lying because we all are, yet God offers us a way out. He puts our broken pieces back together to form the most beautiful lamps.

Through our painful cracks, his light breaks through. Without God, humanity would be done for. There’s no way any broken person could avoid breaking others, even if they tried to be good, they’d lash out at some point. You can only keep up works for so long. For works alone can’t lead to salvation, yet faith leads to action. 

My heart aches for the broken. As Jesus said on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24a ESV) It’s not like everyone’s walking around with the intention of hurting others, but when your hurt without a healer, you can’t magically erase your burns and scars. Sometimes, we knowingly hurt each other, others we do so unintentionally, but in Christ, we find life. 

In Christ, there is joy and healing. Healing is most certainly a process, but nothing, not even one moment of your brokenness will be wasted. When someone wrongs you, don’t always take it to heart. Yes, there is a place for justice undoubtedly, but they too are broken. It shows more so how desperate they are for a savior than it reflects on your worth. 

Pray for them, forgive them. There is a way out of this downward spiral. Just outside of this twister is the most beautiful picture. An artwork of stained glass being pieced together with every brokenness we give to God. Through it, together as the body of Christ, we can shine his light and hope into this dark world. So someday the phrase may not be “Hurt people hurt people”. Maybe the phrase will be, “Out of the darkest night, comes the brightest light.”

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV)

Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Scars That Burn

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. The marks that allow us to share stories, some now funny, others not so much about our lives. The deepest scars may not be visible to the naked eye, but those are the ones still pulsing with pain. Riddled with insecurities and anxiety, no one would ever understand or care.

Recently I burnt my hand. It stung horribly ice wouldn’t even help. We’ve all felt the burn. Some of us may even have scars from our burns. I know I could point to a few. Even if we weren’t scarred by our burns outwardly, our minds got a scar, one to be used as a future reference so we don’t burn ourselves in the future. It causes me to wonder, what other scars are burned on our hearts?

How often do you find yourself running? When we’re scarred, we tend to run or hide from whatever left that mark. Beauty marks some say as they lighten the mood, but everyone knows what went into that “beauty mark”. There are countless reasons to be scarred and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, but the worst part of the scar is when the scar is invisible. Many of us have invisible scars and because of their invisibility, we’re unable to tell the painful story. The one burning on our hearts daily. One we can’t tell because it’s too deep, or no one would care because they can’t see how it cuts us to the core.

What if we were given a shot? What if we shared those heartbreaking nightmares? The ones that still give you goosebumps. They bring tears to your eyes. I see it, but you won’t allow them beyond the gates. Insecurities and self-doubt crush your dreams. You’re lost and alone, though you have several close friends. You reason away the need to tell because you don’t want to be a burden. You don’t want to overshare. 

If I’m being completely honest, a lot of this is too me to even want to share, but I know someone needs it. Someone needs to know that your burns and beauty marks matter. God cares about your scars. He wants to bring you healing. It’s terrifying being alone in the world, feeling as if you can’t tell, but also can’t keep it in. My heart aches for you. I’ve been there. One thing I’m learning through all of this is reality. We all have these burns and if we share our burns, maybe it’ll give someone else the courage to share theirs. I’m learning that my closest friends want to hear the pain. They want to be there for you with you. Maybe, if we share the burdens and lies that crush us, we’ll find freedom. Not just freedom for ourselves, but also others who are now empowered to share their scars.

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. Late nights of endless tears. Early morning quivers from PTSD. The flashback from under the table when they fought, or that time when you couldn’t save them from tragic injury. We can’t undo the past, but let there be freedom. It isn’t yours to carry any longer. Let it go and be free.

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

You Complete Me

It’s vital, it’s broken, family. What does it mean to you? If you had a perfect family growing up or even now, that’s wonderful. Yet I know no one could honestly say they have. Families are broken. I see it every day. You don’t have to look hard to find a broken family. Often, it’s in your own home. How can we have whole, complete families?

First, I think we have to start with God. Without him, we’re broken and lost. Many people say that finding the love of their life, or their soulmate “completes” them, but I can’t comprehend how. 

Tale as old as time, a woman met a man only a couple of years her senior. They dated and fell in love. Must’ve been fate that brought such a perfect pair together. The gentleman proposed to our fair lady and within a year and a half of when they first met, they were sealed as man and wife. “What a lovely couple.” On-lookers would have declared. They were blessed with four beautiful children. I can see how this family could have been mistaken for achieving the dream family. Yet with or without Christ, our past often tends to haunt us. Without Christ, there is no hope of defeating our demons. It’s a battle that drags us down and often our whole family. 

So was the case with this family. Sure they went to church. Of course, they sent their kids to Awana. They may even have appeared to be overly generous and full of good deeds. Yet, as we all know. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8) And so we see demonstrated daily that it is not works that save us or in and of themselves bring healing. We feel it at the empty or at least obnoxiously silent dinner table. We see it in the glares shared by siblings behind the parent’s backs. The ones that only mimic the glares they’ve noticed from Mom and Dad. We hear it in the anger once bottled, now exploded on children who knew not what they’d done. On a Mom desperately trying to manage a household full of wild children. The empty beer cans, the shattered mug. It’s the side the world doesn’t see. The world sees perfection.

Without a relationship with God, broken people can’t fix or complete each other. It’s like trying to hammer a nail in with a hammer that the head fell off of. It doesn’t work. We’re just one of the billions of broken people trying to heal in a broken world. So we look to the world, but it’s broken. This is why we need God so desperately. Don’t think for a second you can live without him. You can’t unless you want to cause further destruction. Families are so vitally important, yet with all the toxic relationships, it seems impossible to have hope for the future. 

Yet you, you can be the change. You don’t have to come from a perfect family to bring about this change. You just need a relationship with God and it can change everything. Only if He is first and foremost.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

John 1:3 (ESV)

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.