Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

04/03/2019

Randall Caselman

 

Dealing With Our Broken Moments

 

  Well, we’ve all been there, and will be again; this is the way life comes to us. For instance...

 

Jacob was his mother’s favorite, but he found himself working as a servant in Laban’s house.

 

Joseph’s colored coat status gave way to a jail sentence in Egypt.

 

Moses, the prince in a palace, became Moses, the shepherd in the Sinai wilderness. He lived forty years with this brokenness before his Burning Bush assignment.

 

Peter was seen as the Chief Apostle, but then there was the ugly moment of denial.

 

Paul experienced the fall from his being a “Hebrew of Hebrews” with a Roman citizenship to a damp, dark, prison cell.

 

  There comes a time when all of us will have to surrender our dreams to God and let Him deal with our current situation.

 

  Listen to Moses from the ninetieth Psalm. No doubt written during his forty years of wondering what God had in mind for him: “Relent, O Lord; How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as You have allowed this affliction, for as many years as we have seen this trouble. May Your deeds be shown to your servants, Your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands.”

 

  Indeed, when broken moments come, and they will, God can and will restore and establish us again! The question then is what should our attitude be so that God can work His will and way in us?

 

  Accept. Admit where we are and what is happening to us. We tend to deny our condition or predicament, not wanting to accept the reality of the situation before us. Perhaps even attempting to hide it from family, friends, church. The journey to help and healing must start with acceptance of what is happening to us, our brokenness.

 

  Yield. Choose to surrender. When we collide with life’s unfairness, we always respond with things like: “Why me, Lord?” “Why now?” Why? The humanity within Jesus caused Him to ask the why question on the cross; "Why have You forsaken Me." Been there? Of course, we all have. It's alright to ask the why question, but the better thing to do is instead of trying to bargain with God, instead of trying to make a deal with Him, why not surrender? Why not ask; “Lord, what do You want me to learn from this situation?” “How can I use this experience in service to You and others?” “How can I glorify You in this pain?” Don’t you know that years later Moses was glad for his sheepherding experiences in the Sinai as he led, not sheep, but God’s people? This was Paul’s attitude toward his thorn-in-the-flesh. He prayed for deliverance! It didn’t come as he envisioned. God’s answer was, “My grace is sufficient.” Later, we hear Paul say, “I delight in my weaknesses, insults, hardship, in persecution and difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong.” You see, God can use our weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, brokenness if we will surrender them to Him. No, we may not know just how He is using our pain to His glory, but rest assured He is at work in our broken moments.

 

  Anticipate. Look to the future. Jacob, Peter, and Paul had good reason to regret their past. Jacob had been a liar, cheat, deceiver. Peter denied the very One who came to provide him with forgiveness and salvation. Yet at the appointed time, Pentecost, he opened the door of God's Kingdom, to all mankind.

 

  Paul persecuted the early church; but God used him to take the Kingdom Message to Gentiles, plus he wrote a significant portion of our Scripture.

 

  Like with Jacob and Paul, God is ready to take our brokenness and give us a new name in His Kingdom, but we must, like them, forget the past: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on to the goal to win the prize… To what God calls me toward.” We are here for a purpose. God has a plan for each of us. There are things He wants us to accomplish; some things that only we can accomplish. He has some folk who need to see Jesus in us that only we have contact with. Remember what Jesus said about the blind man in John chapter nine? “His blindness (brokenness) happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Wow! Can others see Jesus in me, the work of God in me, by the way I face my broken moments? Here it is church, as long as we cling to the past, we will be unable to take hold of the future God has in mind for us.

 

  Trust. Above all, have faith. Reality does indeed test our faith. When life tumbles in and broken moments come, we must not forget Paul’s statement in Romans eight: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

 

  We're like a loaf of French bread. If you pour hot butter over the loaf, it will simply run off. But if the bread is broken, the butter is absorbed into the bread. God speaks to us, remolds and remakes us through His Word, and our life experience. And sometimes we must be broken for the Word and His Divine Providence to penetrate our heart.

 

  Our challenge is for us to use our broken moments to His honor and glory! Amen?

 

—RANDALL CASELMAN