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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why people shouldn't fear being broken

"Lord, break me."

Too many people fear this prayer for all the wrong reasons.

There is a false belief that if we pray to God asking Him to "break us," that we will be left with nothing. The truth is that we will be left with Him and Him alone.

Brokenness is a concept that scares us because we don't like things that are broken, especially people. We shouldn't be surprised to realize that we quickly discard of anything that is broken. After all, what is the use of having a broken clock that can't tell time or a broken television around the house that we can't watch? We use logic that broken is useless and bad, so we try to avoid it at all costs. Brokenness is a concept in our Christian walk that I think we need a better understanding of.

To understand and describe the concept of being broken, many people use the analogy of how bones that have been broken at one point have healed incorrectly. Regardless of whether the bone was broken through a sports injury or through foolishness, in order to set the bone straight, we must break the bone once again so that the bones can reset correctly. The idea seems nice, but who in their right mind wants to experience the pain of breaking a bone again?! The reason why brokenness is so misunderstood is because we lack the perspective required to understand the value of it. I feel like this is misleading because it only focuses on the fact that we must experience a great excruciating pain in order to get to a place where things are good.

In Camp Pendleton, there are hills that the marines in training have to climb. When I went there, my friends showed me a series of hills that look more like small mountains called humps are utilized for training purposes. As the marines go up and down these massive hills, they are required to carry packs that weigh between 70-100+ pounds for between 3-20 miles. The reason they do this is to gain strength and, but for this analogy, we will consider what they gain as self dependency. As we go through life, we add weights to our pack when we should be walking without weights. We begin by adding expectations of how our lives should look; our careers, how much money we make, and how popular we are become a weight in our lives. Then we add our deficiencies that come from being in a fallen world; the desire for security, approval, and acceptance isn't found in God, but in success and achievement. Pain, failure, disappointment, and fear of the unknown add even more weight onto our packs. And as we continue to live life, we find that we are trying to depend on ourselves, constantly realizing that we can't depend on people, and that no one really knows us as well as we would like them to - all realizations that add even more weight to our lives. Pretty soon, we find ourselves carrying a pack that weighs more than we do simply because we don't really trust God. We don't trust God because we don't know Him. And because we don't know Him, we think that we have to take on all the problems of this world on our own.

We shouldn't be afraid of being broken by God. In fact, it should be our daily prayer. Only in a state of brokenness is there mending and healing. Only in a state of brokenness can we truly see ourselves as we really are, in need of a perfect God. Brokenness reveals the distance between how we live and how God wants us to live. If we can't sincerely ask God to break us, it means that we either have a distorted view of who God is or that we have something in our hearts that we deem to be better than God. Before I started Project62, I was in a place where my career in investment banking (including the status, security, and the stability it would bring me) was more important to me than God was. I placed more hope in my career than I found in God and I didn't want to trust God with my future because of that hope in my career. There was nothing I wanted to hear more than absolutely nothing from God, because if God didn't speak, I didn't have to obey. But He did speak, and how much I rejoice because of what He said.

Essentially, God reminded me that I could chase my tail for the rest of my life and still not experience wonder and security like I could find in my relationship with Him. He reminded me that He created the universe and holds it gently in His hands and then zooms into the lives of people so that we can get to know Him personally. He reminded me that I am much better of depending on Him instead of myself or anyone else because He is flawless and we are terribly flawed. He reminded me that He knows all things, He can do all things, and He will bring good from all things if I remain in Him. My fear of shifting my dependence on my career, myself, and other people unto God prevented me from experiencing God in the way I was meant to and when I did shift my trust onto Him, everything became good.

I realized that dependency, aka faith, is a gift from God. It allows us to shed our weights from our shoulders and place them onto Him. Through prayer, daily, I find that God is constantly taking the burdens, fears, anxieties, uncertainties, and hopes of my life and telling me to entrust Him with it. Through prayer, I find myself entrusting Him with all of my greatest treasures and finding peace at the end of each day because I know that He will take care of me. What brokenness isn't necessarily the pain that comes through destroying our lives, but the freedom that comes from not being chained down by all the expectations, burdens, and troubles of our lives. Brokenness is being stripped of all things that we should be relying on God for and then moving towards actually relying on Him.

At the end of the day, I know I can rely on God because He is good and what He began in my life, He will complete to the very end. He is more than enough to sustain me throughout all of this entire life. My problem is that I am so short sighted and overly practical that I plan everything on my own and create insurance policies against all possible scenarios. The thing is, God is enough in all of His goodness, love, and provision and its when we are stripped of everything except Him that we can see that. For those who are fortunate, they build on top of the foundation of that, and that alone. We are broken so that we can rely on the one person that is reliable for eternity and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. I like this entry :) thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ray! Made me reflect on my own fears also.