So many things in God’s Kingdom are backwards from our way of thinking or reversed from the value system we have been raised with.
“The first shall be last and the last first” Matthew 19:30
“Blessed are the poor” Luke 6:20
“God chooses the base things and the despised” 1 Cor. 1:28
The one I want to think out loud with you about for a few minutes is how God uses the broken.
When we find something is broken we either repair it, replace it or simply stop using it.
In my garage I have a million watt spotlight that I bought eight years ago. It is amazing! If ever there is a burglar trying to hide in my neighbors bushes, he won’t have a chance! If I need to signal a passing commercial airliner at 35,000 feet, no problem! The only thing is… it’s broken! It stopped working seven years ago. Not sure why.
I refuse to throw it away. It might start working again on it’s own! Besides I paid 20 bucks for it!
I can’t fix it – no one sells parts!
I won’t buy another one. Why should I? The cops haven’t bothered to ask for my help and the airlines routinely fly overhead ignoring the awesome potential that I used to have!
Bottom line: It’s broken and simply one more piece of garbage that I have refused to admit that I have on my shelf.
On the other hand…
Jacob lived for 20 years knowing the Lord as his God. He had met the Lord that crazy night in Bethel in a dream. He made a deal with the Lord to be his God.- how kind of him! (Gen 28:21). However, Jacob continued to live pretty much the same as he always had BEFORE meeting the Lord. He figured out what he wanted (including who he wanted to marry) and worked hard for it. He made some good business deals and struggled to better himself personally and financially. Finally, he felt led to go home.
However, while on his way there, with his large family and servants and flocks, he hears that his brother Esau is coming to meet him. The problem is that the last Jacob knew, Esau was planning to kill him for stealing his birthright by deceiving their father Isaac
Now Jacob was in trouble., He wasn’t young, single or able to simply run from his sins as he had before. Now he was responsible for his wives, his sons and for protecting their assets. He does do what he can which is to divide the family into two groups sending them ahead and also send gifts by his servants to his brother, hoping to assuage his brother’s wrath and desire for revenge.
Then after he has done all he can, Jacob is left alone. This is often when it happens.
The Bible records that an angel wrestled with Jacob in the night and in the end cripples him by touching the socket of his thigh. Suddenly Jacob is a broken man. He is in hurting, alone and he has absolutely nothing but God to cling to and in whom to trust. At the very lowest point in Jacob’s life, when his past sins are coming back to haunt him and he has nothing but fear and regrets around him, God changes his name to “Israel” which means “Governed By God”.
Now, a shattered man is ready to face whatever lies ahead.
Not because he is strong but because he is weak.
Not because he is so usable but because he is completely broken.
Now, Jacob becomes the example God can point to for anyone who wishes to live and die in faith.
I love the postscript on Jacob’s life in Hebrews 11:21
By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
Right to the end of his life Jacob “Blessed, worshiped and leaned”
Wouldn’t it be great if you could be this usable to the Lord?
You can! But you must realize God intends to break you:
Not like my spotlight that sits broken and unused on the shelf.
But like the Twixt bar you break to share with a friend!
Remember what it says about the loaves “Jesus blessed them and broke them and gave them”
The breaking is the preparing of the Lord for the giving of the blessing to someone else!
Weight lifters need to break down muscle every other day or so. That is how they build up. I feel as though I need to be broken down every so often just to get built up for the next stage of life.
Like sheep gone astray, it is in the “breaking,” that we learn to listen to the “voice” of the shepherd. It is God’s way to get our attention. When we listen, we can then follow. “After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4
wow! This is so insightful…thank you 🙂