I clearly remember sitting on a couch in an extended planning meeting with our student staff when i heard about the death of Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter. When we found out, one of our interns said “He’ll have a great next CD” to which someone replied “too soon, dude, too soon.” Indeed…it was definitely too soon to say something like that.
But as Ive been watching CNN’s interview with the Chapman family, I wonder if that statement might have had a true ring to it. I think about the amazing books I’ve read or the mind-blowing songs I’ve heard or life-changing speechess i’ve encountered…is it any coincidence that some of the greatest works of art…or some of the greatest leaders to walk this earth…have been shaped and crafted because of deep, heart-wrenching pain? The lyrics are raw, the words are shattering and insanely true. They resound with authenticity and cling to a part of your heart so deep inside….a place that “jesus loves me” type songs just do not. They are the songs that remind us that we are human and we have emotions that soar from ecstasy to agonizing despair. I think about some of the amazing people in my own life. They, too, were crafted and shaped by pain and suffering. They are who they are because of the valleys they’ve had to walk through.
I just finished a book on brokenness. A Tale of Three Kings. A must read!! This book talks about the importance that God sees in using broken vessels. There were a lot of hard things in that book that im wrestling with.
I think of my own life and the trials i’ve had to face, and many in the future which will probably be even harder to face. I wrestle with this concept of brokenness…I really do feel broken right now. I look back at my journal from last year and can’t help but laugh, and then cry, when I read my scary prayer for God to break me:
Is it stupid to pray ‘God wreck my life in such a way that my only hope is you?’ Is it stupid to say that my heart is crying that very thing out, but my lips are trembling at the thought of saying it? I can say it with certain circumstances in my head that I think i could handle…but if i could handle them, my only hope wouldn’t be him, would it? It’s at that time that my mind goes to other situations in which i hope i never have to face. Is it stupid to pray for suffering so that I see the blessing of God? Whether my lips can say it or not, my heart desires for God to flip my world upside down in a way that He is the only one to get me through. I want to experience God in a way I never have before. I want to be reminded that its not about me. I dont want to be…but i do. let me just say what my mind is thinking-‘God don’t do anything to me…dont make me sick, dont injure me.” ok. I had to get that out. i hate that i just wrote these things. My flesh thrashes at the thought of being purged from its throne. My soul delights in the presence of the King. I hate that i have welcomed pain and suffering into my life. My soul is content knowing He is already all I need. Let me realize that this life is not about my own pleasures or desires. Let me discover that there is a bigger picture.
Wow. And now i look back at the past five months and just let out a big SIGH. I’m weary. I’m broken. And yet i know that i havent even faced life’s most difficult challenges yet. I wonder how much more i can take right now. But I know God is in the business of taking broken vessels and using them for His glory. I hope that is true for my life.
I know this has been long..and somewhat choppy..and i’m impressed if you made it this far. But I just wanted to share my thoughts as I wrestle through these thoughts of brokenness.
Can anyone relate?