Do you ever feel like Alice in Wonderland pleasantly going along on your journey when life suddenly takes a turn? And what do we do when we find ourselves, like Alice, stumbling into a deep hole finding ourselves in another place, a place we never dreamed of. Or maybe we are going along blissfully ignorant about the pain and disappointment that can happen to each of us…until one day the little pieces of our lives begin to crack and break off.
When life becomes overwhelming and burdens become more than we are meant to bear…..when circumstances seem merciless, and consequences come along that seem to load us down and get heavier and heavier and we find ourselves stumbling under the weight….when pain seems to overwhelm and crush us….when life becomes too much and you can’t seem to breathe….when our hearts splinter, or the will is broken, dreams shatter, spirits are crushed and people break….what then?
I wish it wasn’t so, but brokenness comes to us all…and for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s the consequences of our own sin, sometimes it’s the way the world greets us too early in life, sometimes it’s the result of a lifetime of poor choices, and sometimes it’s just too hard to unravel the chaos and give it a name.
Sadly, sometimes we use words to describe ourselves that were never meant to be in anyone’s vocabulary-words such as sickness, divorce, rape or widow….we look around and know deep down that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, we never dreamed of this…yet, here it is…labels we didn’t think we would ever carry and we find our lives in a million pieces.
While reading the other day in Matthew about the beatitudes I stopped for awhile on chapter 5 verse 3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Jesus began his teachings on the beatitudes speaking about the character he desires for us-how we can return His love with the offering of our lives. His first lesson shows us the depth of his gentle heart towards us when he begins with the poverty of our spirit. He very gently teaches us that even in our brokenness; our lives can become a beautiful offering to God. He understands our humanity….and from that very place of understanding come His compassionate blessing.
Angela Thomas in her book, A Beautiful Offering, says: ” if the blessing of being closer to heaven comes through poverty of spirit, then maybe we can come to embrace our brokenness, knowing that we will experience a nearness of heaven that we could not know otherwise.”
As a woman who longs after God, I can finally begin to look into my emptiness and trust that my Father God is drawing me to Himself through life’s pain, disillusions and disappointments. It has taken me a long time to acknowledge the emptiness in my spirit because I didn’t think that brokenness, or struggles or anything less than perfection was acceptable to God. So I learned very early on to pretend, for my own sake but also to please God.
I didn’t understand that God could look at my imperfections, weaknesses, limitations and flaws and offer His tender compassion and blessing anyway.
How liberating to be able to go to Him as I am….completely human, worn out at times, hurting, aimless and broken…. and in prayer lay on His altar my empty spirit.
It boggles my mind that my brokenness is a beautiful offering to God….that just the act of giving my poor spirit to my heavenly Father ushers me into the inheritance of His kingdom.
But Jesus goes on to say that a kingdom inheritance awaits me, awaits us….and we don’t have to be perfect to receive it. Jesus offers us an inheritance of forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, comfort, rest, restoration and healing…gifts given from a Savior who gave His life for us so that when we come to him broken, lonely and afraid we can turn to Him and lay our broken offerings at His altar….Jesus comes and carries us into His presence….holding us in the tenderness of His embrace and covers us with the mantle of His kingdom inheritance.
When all is gone, when we have nothing left to hang on to…..when we offer to Him our emptyness we are then making room for Him and we are blessed!!!
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit ~Psalm 34:18