It’s easy to think that brokenness comes from God.
God is in control, right?
Well, there is a huge difference between being in control and controlling everything. But that is a whole other blog.
In church we’ve sung songs with words like
“Brokeness, brokenness is what I long forBrokenness is what I needBrokenness, brokenness is what you want from me.”
This kind of song only adds to the idea that brokenness comes from God. This confusion is consistent with the confusion of the bible. The Psalmist wrote,
“(God) You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit,a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” (Psalm 51.16-17)
It sure does seem like brokenness comes from God. But then Jesus, God in the flesh, comes along and quotes Isaiah 42.3, attributing it to himself,
“A bruised reed he will not break,and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,” (Matthew 12.20)
Since Jesus said the greatest commandment is to
“love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10.27);
I figure it’s our duty to press into the tough stuff and try to figure it out. That’s what we do when there are contradictions in the bible and things don’t make sense, we love God with our mind and try to figure them out.
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
First, there is a difference between breaking and setting. I broke my arm arm playing soccer as a kid and it hurt. I screamed and cried and scared my sister. Then they took me to the walking clinic and after an x-ray, the doctor set my bone before he cast it. Him setting it hurt exactly like the break. Maybe it even hurt worse because I knew it was coming.
I was talking about this with a friend who told me about the doctor setting his toes. Apparently, He had broken it while on a camping trip. Since it didn’t hurt really bad he buddy taped it and went on with his trip. A couple weeks later he had his feet up on the couch and his wife asked what happened. He told her and she insisted he go see the doctor. The doctor took an X-ray and not only had be broken his toe but the toe had started healing while still broken. My friend had had a lot of doctor set bones but this the pain on this one was crazy.
God will set us, and at times that hurts. This is very different than God breaking us.
Second, just because God wants our brokenness, doesn’t mean God caused it. As a dad I long for my daughters to bring me their hurt. I don’t want them to hurt, but I know that if they don’t bring it to me, I can’t help them. It’s the same way with God. He wants your brokenness so he can start fixing healing it.
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