My husband climbed into my waiting vehicle. He had just gotten home from picking up his truck after getting a number of very costly repairs. We both sighed, pushed it out of our minds and looked towards our day together. It had been entirely too long since we had gained a whole day together just us and we had looked forward to it with such excitement! Yet as my husband grabbed the gear shift to launch us to our lunch date, life happened. The gear shift broke off in his hand. As it dangled limp, I instantly realized, Wow. I never knew I had so much in common with a gearshift.
I know broken. Believe me, I KNOW broken. Odds are you do, too. No, I don’t mean vehicles and appliances. I don’t mean water pipes and cell phones. I know broken at the penetrating bone level – my heart, my soul, my spirit. I have gone from running 7 miles and lifting weights to not being able to get out of bed. Many weeks spent staring outside, realizing that everyone out in it had no clue the pain and anguish I was experiencing on the other side of that window pane. We have had to throw too many of our life’s belongings in a dumpster from toxic mold. I have cried out so many times face-planted, begging and sobbing to just be healed. And seeing tears flow from my helpless family’s eyes as I wrench in pain is a broken I won’t ever be able to explain.
Yes, being broken is heart-wrenching, especially when our life shatters over and over again. We are forever changed by each one, and at the time it seems utterly hopeless to overcome. How will we ever be able to pick up the pieces and trudge forward? After all, there is no way things will ever be the same, right? Well, God’s promise remains true! The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He has shown us everything we need to know by looking at a glass mosaic.
A glass mosaic is made up of many different pieces of glass, all a unique shape, color, and size. Do you know how they get those pieces for their work of art? They break them. Many bottles are broken, the pieces scattered and strategically chosen for the beauty envisioned. The artist is purposefully letting the bottle fall because they are able to see the beauty in their brokenness. They have an end vision.
But when we aren’t able to see that end treasure, the shattering would be rather startling. Just think, when a bottle unexpectantly falls and breaks how do we react? It is usually that of angst, a sickening feeling in our gut tells us that this isn’t what was supposed to happen to that bottle. That isn’t what that bottle was intended to do. It had a purpose and now it is ruined! We may even cover our gaping, wide-open mouth with our hands to mute our scream.
BUT, the artist is calm. He knows that their breaking is for a deeper beauty and purpose. In their brokenness, those pieces become unexplainable beauty, one that couldn’t have been achieved if they had just stayed in their original state.
Our sweet God is OUR Artist. He sees the potential mosaic of our brokenness. As we are crying and shouting out to Him in pain and disbelief of what just broke, He KNOWS that all those statically chosen pieces will create beauty that our mind can’t imagine. After all, we are not the artist and our minds aren’t able to imagine the treasure He is envisioning – it’s HIS vision, not ours. But I can promise you one thing sweetie, it’s gonna be breathtaking.
Every tear you shed in your brokenness, every time your heart shatters, every single painful step, is being added to your life’s mosaic. You may only see the slivers of broken glass and feel the deep cuts they leave, BUT our Artist is using them, ever so gently to change you into a better work of art – one full of beauty that could only be attained through all that has broken. (Romans 8:28-30)
If you are being broken right now, allow Him to use your shattered pieces. Don’t let this go in vain, dear one, because the end masterpiece He creates will be more magnificent than you can ever fathom. All because He loves us enough to allow us to be broken…
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)