O Lord, my mind is jumbled right now. I have trouble focusing on the most mundane chores which seem obscure. My heart is disarrayed with turn of events that seem like nightmares—unexpected and harsh. My spirit is burdened with a desire for restoration. It’s as if the faces of brokenness keep flashing before me, calling for help. Yet I am unable to make things right. I am helpless to make a difference, to change circumstances, to even believe that goodness will prevail. Selfishly, I want my hurting friends to be healed, their circumstances to be resolved and all to be right with the world, even with those faces who do not have a name. Lord, I need Your help in transforming this muddled, messy mind.
In the Image of our Creator
I see an elderly woman tormented by mental barriers–ailments she could never accept, weaknesses she could never hurdle, and the fears and insecurities that currently keep her in an irrational prison. She often does not comprehend reality, and her paranoia is rampant. Her only relief is to go home to the place prepared for her. When will she give up the fight?
A friend confronts another eminent “family” death—one of many over the past four years. She grieves authentically, but I want her to be unrestricted, not having to walk through the process again so soon. She will survive and be more resilient, but why does life have to be such a pattern of emotional bereavements?
I sense disappointment in the eyes of a loved one who has dealt with a health issue for many months. The necessary procedure finally performed and all appeared hopeful for a positive resolution—not the case—a second surgery now scheduled. Then there is a former colleague and friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Preliminary tests proved that the cancer was treatable, and it was hopeful that no chemo or radiation would be needed. Surgery proved otherwise. As so often is the case with health issues, the waiting begins and doubts creep in. How can healing prevail in the midst of uncertainty?
A collage of faces haunts me from a recent emergency room experience on a Saturday night—the black man who was desperately ill, gasping for air; the blond woman who was crying and hurting from what appeared to be an abusive attack, while the stoic companion with her offered no solace; the young couple with the sick baby who eventually just walked out, not wanting to wait; the mother and daughter both wearing masks due to agonizing and frequent coughing. I sat waiting with my husband who had his own painful situation that needed immediate attention. Flashes of illness, hurt, and pain still linger in my mind’s eye. How could there be so much brokenness sitting in one small waiting room?
A young man walks through the doors of a school. Gun shots blast through the air; normal teenage chatter becomes chaos. In a moment of disbelief, screams escape, students run for their lives and a haven of learning becomes a crime scene. Another school shooting and this one touched closer to home. My sister-in-law lives in Benton, KY. She has grandchildren that attend the Marshall County High School. None were physically hurt, but how long will the scars of this tragedy be etched on their hearts?
After a required physical, a friend was put on forced vacation from his job because of a necessary medication. He has done what he was required to do to get reinstated, but after a month’s time, he is still trying to jump through governmental hoops in order to get his job back. Insurance for his family is provided through his job, and currently that is gone while he waits and wonders what is next. How does one face the unfairness of a system that finds a small technicality yet overlooks an excellent work ethic?
I look in the mirror and only one image peers back at me. It too is the face of a broken individual—one that worries instead of trusting God, one that tries to be the fixer of situations that aren’t mine to fix, one that strives for perfection, one that fears taking a risk, one that faces age-related health issues with dread… At this point, I have allowed brokenness to bombard my mind throughout daylight hours and invade my dreams at night. When will this cycle come to an end?
In the Image of a Promise
It is so easy for broken images from our marred world to creep in and take over the mind, but I know deep down that is not what God wants for me. He hates the brokenness and evil more than I do, but He also loves more deeply than I ever can. That is why He sacrificed and sent His Son Jesus as a Savior for our broken world. He offers GRACE to the familiar faces, and they in return share faith through their hardships. The dispirited faces, I believe, God is still pursuing, yearning for them to come to Him for help.
How does the God of the universe ever love you and me so deeply even in the midst of our brokenness? Our Creator must look at us and see wholeness…not the damaged goods. Because of His faithfulness and unfailing love for His children, He wants to transform defeated lives and delights in those who cease to live in the ruins and step forward to trust in His redemptive GRACE. The transformation is one step at a time, moving you and me closer to the follower God wants us to be, the person He can use in spite of our sinful nature, the child He desires in showing great love. I have a choice each day to acknowledge the GRACE that is able to flood my soul and to accept the UNFAILING LOVE that can embrace my heart.
First, I must remember that I am not to be the fixer of brokenness, only God completely restores. Secondly, I need to realize that for me I need to draw close to the Lord, for I am helpless to do anything unless it is through Him. Third, Satan is in our midst and uses broken situations as disruptions, only bringing confusion. He sends doubts my way, and the lies creep in.
God has prepared the way; He yearns for our spirits to trust in His unfailing love. He provides a way that allows you and me to move away from hopelessness and mind obstructions into wholeness, believing that He is there for us through everything our broken world may throw at us. The Apostle Paul in his book to the Romans put it this way:
“35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?… 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8: 35, 37-38
Paul was convinced that NOTHING could separate us from God’s love. God has not changed. What He promised Paul, He promises you and me. He is able to LOVE us through anything. There is a reason for our humanness — so we can depend on God to see us through. That is where He wants us. My part is to reach out my hand to Him and hold on tight when the struggles come, when my mind is bombarded with brokenness that lingers, and when situations are not resolved even through much prayer. God is always loving us, always for us and not against us, always accomplishing His purpose – He is the One to trust above all. NOTHING can separate us from God’s love—what a promise!
In the Image of His GRACE
Dear Lord, I recognize You as sovereign and good – the victor from the wrongs and evil in this world. I know that I am Your Child and no longer a slave to the brokenness that can bind me. I need Your transforming love renewed in my heart. Only You can turn my captive broken images into hopeful and joyous faces even in the midst of adversity. Help me to focus my thoughts on You and thank You for the inspiration found in fellow Christians who put God above their illnesses, their hardships, their pain or sorrow, knowing they are covered in Your LOVE. Help me, Lord, to put brokenness in its right perspective. I know a fresh touch from You is like a breath of fresh air and a place where You want all Your children to be—depending on You in the midst of our fragmented world. I believe that nothing can separate me from Your LOVE. You work in everything to fulfill Your purpose. Suffering should not draw me or anyone away from You but help us to identify more with Christ. In trust, I ask that Your LOVE surround me, Your GRACE bring comfort, and Your TRUTH harbor peace in my soul. Amen and Amen!
Know that God is always there for you…Just Kathy