Brokenness . . and Christianity

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV)

Photograph by oatsy40Do you have a few cracks?

Have you taken inventory of your chips lately?

Ever worry that if there’s even one more faintest touch of trouble, you’ll crumble?

. . Have you ever shattered?

When you think about human frailty, who comes to mind?

Yourself?

A close family member who disintegrated after a final blow of ‘bad luck’?

Maybe a coworker who landed in prison?

A successful friend who had to take disability after an unexpected turn in life?

Or perhaps some stranger who just had too heavy a load, now wasting away in an insane asylum?

I would guess hardly any of us first thought of the most fragile human being of all.

If you’re now putting on your theological cap and guessing again, you might think of Samson or Saul or Adam–all ruined by their lack of self control.   But you’re still not right.

Who is the most fragile human being?  Who has the weakest vessel of all?

Absolutely, unequivocally, Jesus Christ.

If you’re astonished, think only of this: Who has been the most crushed by sin?

He [Jesus] took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” (Luke 22:19, NLT)

There has to be comfort, overwhelming comfort for the believer who realizes that Jesus has experienced their own sin, shame, and suffering more intensely than they have themselves.  When I stop to picture it, I’m awestruck: the picture Jesus gives us is one of Himself being divided into pieces and ground to bits to nourish His followers–the very ones who wound Him.

There is no one on the entire earth, no matter how much trouble they have been through, who has ever gone through such an experience.  Jesus chose to be spent, utterly, for us.  His spirit was crumbled to powder under the weight of our sin (though He kept His purity throughout), and His body was destroyed beyond anything we can imagine by the agony of our guilt(see Isaiah 52:14).

What does this mean for the believer?

First, that the awe of who Christ is cannot ever be overstated.

Second, that we shouldn’t pout or despair when our fragility is revealed.

Whether our cracks come by our own sin, or by things we didn’t have any say in (like  sickness, unforeseen circumstances, or the sins of others) we can always hold onto what Christ did when He faced the burden of brokenness.  He didn’t brace Himself with supernatural power.  He could have.  But He didn’t.

He chose to shatter.  For you.  For me.

So many times, when I’m confronted with breaking, I try to guard myself, defend myself, flee in fear, or search for a hide-away.  But really, I don’t have to be afraid or angry or bitter.  I can instead peer through the cracks to the

all surpassing power  . . from God

that is inside of me.  As a believer, I no longer have to be consumed by my brokenness.  I don’t have to be terrified or worshipful of it.  I can simply give it to God, and follow the example of Christ in opening my hands to receive wounds that will allow Christ to be seen more clearly through me.

Through . . me.

What treasure to be a vessel who belongs to Jesus.

And what an honor to be broken so that He can be revealed more stunningly in my life day by day.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV)

________________________________________

Photograph by oatsy40, profile on http://www.flickr.com/photos/oatsy40/

Photograph under Creative Commons License.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think you will enjoy this story, it goes along with what you have said. I so enjoy your wonderful writings reminding me who is in control if I let Him be!
    http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/644295/jewish/Cracked-Vessels.htm

    • That’s so beautiful, Debbie! It blessed me more than you could know!


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