Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

09/18/2019

Randall Caselman

 

Using Our Broken Moments

 

  We’ve all been there, and will be again, perhaps we're walking through a broken moment right now; this is the way life comes at us.

 

  Consider the broken moments in the lives of some well-known Bible greats:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

David the hero of all Israel finds himself on the run from King Saul's threat to kill him.

 

In a great show of faith in God, Elijah defeats 450 prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, only to fall into such deep depression that he asks God to take his life.

 

The chief among the Apostles finds himself denying the Rabbi he had faithfully followed for three plus years.

 

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

 

Onesimus, a runaway slave, is asked to return and submit to his master; who is asked to forgive and treat him a brother.

 

  I gotta tell you that there comes a time when life tumbles in and each of us must 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 life tumbles in, 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. When trials come, the journey to help and healing must start with acceptance of what is happening to us.

 

  Yield. Choose to surrender. When we collide with life’s unfairness, we often respond with “Why me, Lord?” “Why now?” WHY? Been there? Of course, we all have. 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 Wilderness as he led, not sheep, but God’s people? This was Paul’s attitude with his thorn-in-the-flesh. He prayed for deliverance and 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, and difficulties if we will surrender them to Him.

 

  Anticipate. Look to the future. Jacob, David, Peter, Paul, Onesimus, had good reason to regret their past. Jacob had been a cheat and deceiver, Peter denied the Rabbi he had followed for three plus years, Paul persecuted the early church; Onesimus had run away from his master; but God had a future for each of them in His kingdom, It’s true, God is ready to take our brokenness and give us a new name and a new place to stand in His Kingdom, but we must, 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.”

 

  Church, we are here for a purpose. God has a plan for each of us. There are things He wants us to accomplish that only we can accomplish. 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? You see, 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, above all, have faith. Life, 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 are like a loaf of French bread. If you poured hot butter over the loaf, it would 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