Thursday, July 13, 2017

Broken Jars

We are all broken...but if we as Christians, show no difference, no light and hope in the midst of our brokenness...where do people see and desire after Jesus?  We as Christians seem so shocked and confused when bad things happen, but we still find Jesus there.  Because the Jesus that I know at least, is found in the midst of our humanity and brokenness.

Life isn't "easier" as Christians, we aren't exempt from the pains of loss and sorrow, from disappointments and failures.  I think Paul's life shows that being a Christian doesn't keep you 'safe'... in fact, it does the exact opposite...being a Christian for Paul was completely and utterly unsafe.   In fact, I can't think of a person in the Bible who led a "safe" life.  Christians are hurting and looking to the church in confusion because so often the "Christian machine"wants to focus on the joy of the Lord, and praises and His goodness, and heaven.  These are all truths, but we can't just put on blinders and make God fit into a box that He will NOT fit in.   I think what this creates is a community of Christians who just...can't.   They cling to the songs about goodness and joy and don't know how to even process their grief and pain.  We are crippling our own Christians instead of equipping them in power to continue on in our brokenness because in Him WE CAN.  That doesn't mean ignore your hurts or sufferings, we don't cover them up by halfheartedly singing church songs to try to force ourselves to be ok.   I think that the pain is part of God's story.  We endure, we press on, for the hope set before us.   Jesus suffered, he wept, he cried out in desperation.   We have to capture this moment on the cross to truly understand what suffering and sacrifice means.   In the midst of all His pain and agony was love for others.   This should be an important reminder to us... this isn't a call for those with the gift of evangelism... this is THE act of Jesus for us to receive...and to share. 
I have been hurting.  I have been hurt by those I love, I have been disappointed by people I thought were supposed to be different.  Yet none of that changes what Jesus has done for me, and none of that changes that in the midst of pain and betrayal...we can still act in love.  I want to allow Jesus to hold me in my hurts and heal my broken heart, but remember that in His comfort is power.   The power to be used AS a broken vessel not yet a perfected one.                There's a relief in that, at least for me.   I have too many flaws and fleshly reactions that I am still working on to wait to be "good" to be of any use.  
So I for one will not tell you "I'm good because God's good", instead you might hear, "Life currently sucks, but God is good".   If you are struggling with something I probably won't spew the first verse I can think of and tell you to just believe it.  I'll try to listen, truly listen, and love you through it, connect with you, and if the Spirit leads me to encourage you with a verse I certainly will.   Many verses have encouraged me through the years, but where I have most felt the love of Jesus is through connection not conviction.    

“We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure.
This makes it clear that our great power

is from God, not from ourselves.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

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