Monday, September 15, 2014

Brokenness, Life, and a Tree

O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

 --George Matheson

There are so many stones in the brook that you cannot count them. Yet in every ten you cannot find more than one or two that are useable. There was no room in David’s pouch for stones which had not been polished smooth. The process of attrition was essential. In the same way those believers who have not yet experienced trials and afflictions, and who have not yet been disciplined by God, are still not ready for his use. What I am anxious to know is whether I myself am qualified to be a ‘smooth stone’ in the hand of my God.

--Wang Ming-Dao (persecuted Chinese pastor)

God uses broken things.

Broken people, broken things.

Soil that's been tilled broken, the clods pounded hard by the hoe.

Olives broken, crushed, for the oil that flows free and nourishing.

Broken bread to feed the hungry--

He uses broken things.

And so many times He breaks a heart before He heals it.

He crushes before He restores--

"For though the Lord causes grief, yet He will show compassion . .  though His hand wounds, it will yet make whole . . . "

Don't be afraid of being broken.

And I wept today because someone I love was broken . . . shattered. Lost every earthly thing of value and every support swept away like a breath punched out of their lungs.

God reaches down to broken things. He puts tears in bottles and remembers the agony of our sorrows.

And we have to be broken before God can use us, whether through our own decisions of surrender  or through the seemingly hard strokes of the Master's rod.

We must be broken . . .

Every ounce of self-reliance stripped away, every shred of pride pressed into the dust.

We must be broken.

George Matheson, Scottish minister and author of the beautiful hymn, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go," broken by blindness and the loss of his fiancé.

Corrie Ten Boom, joyful, Spirit-filled author and speaker, broken by the iron grip of the Nazi death camp.

John Bunyan, who took up his pen and wrote the great classic, Pilgrim's Progress, broken by prison and the fear of never seeing his dear, blind daughter Mary again.

Adoniram Judson, Baptist missionary and great worker for the Lord Jesus, broken by his wife's early death, broken by debilitating depression and prison.

The Apostle Paul, broken by affliction, pain, a constant thorn . . .

My Auntie, broken in years past by the cancer that drew her to Jesus . . .

Broken lives, restored; lives that reflect the glory of the Father of the broken.

Severe mercies, that cut away whatever we're leaning on--

Because when every support is taken away, we either fall utterly, or we fall on Jesus.

Walking in the woods with my sister this week along a new trail, we saw a tree.

A lovely, great tree, lying still on the quiet floor of the forest. Its leafy branches sweeping over the path.

A fallen tree, once-great -- now broken.

Quietness all-around, and the tree spread its arching branches over the expanse of the path, making a bridge over the shady pathway

And she said, "How beautiful."

Because this broken thing became a thing of grace and loveliness, a place of shade and a home for birds and animals, a silent witness to the strength and peace of brokenness.

And over the years it will nourish the ground, its wood splintering off, rotting away, giving life from its death.

There is grace through brokenness.

And the Beautiful One, the high and lofty One Whose name is Holy, Who inhabits eternity gave life on a tree fallen, a tree dead, the instrument of torture and crucifixion and suffering and death.

His death on that tree birthed life -- free and rich and new and eternal.

Life out of brokenness, grace out of suffering.

And the Love that was broken on that tree holds us in our brokenness.

Holds us to Himself--

And pours His life into our broken-dying.

O Cross, that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate MondaysSo Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayEvery Day JesusCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridaySaturday Soiree Blog PartyTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkup


  1. Such a good analogy with the broken tree :) This and all the stories that you shared of people who have been broken remind me of the fact that God wastes nothing and we can draw closer to Him through all circumstances in life. Thanks for sharing!
    -S.L. Payne,

    1. You're welcome, S.L.--that is so true that He wastes nothing in our lives . . .

      So glad that you visited! :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays... It reminds me of my favorite verse in Psalms,
    "He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds."
    Psalm 147-3

    1. Such a beautiful verse; He is such a loving Father . . .

  3. Lovely lovely post on being broken and the sanctity of brokenness. I know my greatest parts have come after being broken in some way. My life today started after a time of being broken, sitting and healing in that space, and flourishing out of it! :)

    Love this share on Mama Moments Monday!

    1. Yes; that is so true . . . true life flows out of brokenness . . . I see this in my own life, too . . . the Lord bless you and pour out His beauty upon you!

  4. Hi, Rebekah!
    You really grasped the truth of brokenness in your post today! I am close to a few who also found Jesus in the brokenness and that makes me treasure the process. I love the way I feel too when He puts me back together after the pain!

    Have a great week,

    1. Yes, Mary! He is the One who wounds (or allows us to be wounded for our ultimate good) and the One who heals; what a beautiful, merciful Savior . . . the Lord bless you today!

  5. Beautiful words and a lovely way thing to wake up to this morning at #RaRalinkup. We are all broken and I am so grateful that even through our brokenness God loves us endlessly and always takes us back. We are blessed by a God who sees beauty in each of us and is willing to extend grace over and over. Blessed by your words today!

    1. Yes, Mary! He is such a merciful Father; He holds us in our brokenness and restores us--praise Him!

  6. None of us likes to be broken--but there is so much truth in what you say. It's when the ME is all broken down that God can step in and help us to become so much more than we ever dreamed.

    1. That is very true . . . the "Me" is what prevents us from that deep fellowship that is only found when we are broken at His feet.

      Thank you for sharing those words and the Lord bless you!

  7. Beautiful words here! Over the past year, I have learned that God can be found in the depths of brokenness. It wasn't an easy lesson to learn, but I am so grateful that God was willing to be a gentle teacher. You are going to encourage so many people who are struggling right now. :)

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Laura! Your words are so true, that He can be found "in the depths of brokenness." That is where we find Him and that is where He holds us to Himself. God bless you, Laura.

  8. So thankful that our Savior loves us in our brokenness and came to save us from it. Great reminder and examples of those who have lived and been loved in their brokenness.

    1. Yes, Emily! That is such a wonderful truth! He loves us in our brokenness and restores us . . . May God bless you, Emily.

  9. I love this. I'm a hiker, so I was drawn to the tree in your thumbnail. I admit, I rarely look at "blowdowns" (as we call them) as something of beauty. They're more of a nuisance. Thanks for changing my perspective today. Visiting from Grace and Truth.

    1. Mary, I'm glad that you were blessed by this! Have a wonderful weekend; God bless you!