Sunday, March 17, 2013

Broken and Restored

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully
just as I also have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

I dropped my hand-held mirror this morning . . . . the one I use when putting on my makeup.  As you can see in the photo, it fractured into quite a few pieces, making it difficult for me to complete my task.  At first I felt irritated as I tried unsuccessfully to find a way to accurately see my reflection. I kept getting a distorted view as I sought to try a different angle.

As I continued, memories came flooding back from a time when my life was fractured just like this mirror . . . . a time when my heart was not an accurate reflection of the God who loves me so . . . . a time when I had a distorted view of Him and myself and everything in general . . . . a time when I tried and tried to look at life from a different "angle" only to end up more and more broken. 

As these memories unfolded, my attention began to shift from the natural to the spiritual . . . . my attitude began to shift from agitation to adoration . . . . and my heart began to respond in the way for which it was created . . . . in worship of the One who heals the brokenhearted and sets the captive free.  Oh how I love Him, because I was that captive and He has set me free! She who has been forgiven much, loves much. 

I don't want to focus on all the events which resulted in my broken life. Let's just say that I have an enemy who has always hated and sought to destroy me.  For a time I believed his lies and built my life on that false foundation.  I loved God and wanted to serve Him, but my understanding of His ways was so distorted by lies that all my efforts were in vain.

I can remember reading Jeremiah 29 over and over again during those dark times.   This chapter contains the message God gave the prophet to deliver to His people whom HE had CAUSED to be led away into captivity for a season. He was encouraging them in their final outcome and promising that, if they would search for Him with their WHOLE heart, they would indeed find Him. I would literally burst into tears each time I read this as I cried out to Him in my misery, "But, God, I don't HAVE a whole heart!!!  How will I ever find you?!?!  Please give me a whole heart!!"

For years I looked at Him through this shattered lens, but I never stopped crying out for Him to heal all the broken pieces of my heart.  According to His beautiful design and His perfect timing, He answered my tearful prayers.  All along He had been carefully working all things together for my good . . . . I just couldn't quite see it yet . . . . It was the fractured vision, you know . . . . it blinded me to the truth.  But, there came a day when His incredible love was revealed to my heart in a way that dealt a death blow to all those lies!  From that time on, the restoration was quick and it was solid. His love NEVER fails!  The promises in Isaiah 61 became my reality . . . . beauty for ashes . . . . praise instead of heaviness . . . . everlasting joy.  What response can we ever have to Him . . . . the One who rescues us with His great love . . . . other than neverending praise and worship?!

May I encourage you today to bring your broken pieces to Jesus. Stop trying to hold it all together . . . . you never will without Him.  He is the One who understands brokenness more than any other man.  He was rejected, stricken, wounded, pierced . . . . BROKEN . . . . on our behalf that we might be whole and free . . . blameless, without spot or wrinkle.  Keep crying out to Him for a whole heart . . . . He is creating a masterpiece of your life. It will reflect His glory in a unique way . . . . one which He created for you alone to display.

And take time to behold Him daily . . . . in worship . . . . in His word.  For . . . .as we behold Him . . . . we are changed into His very image.  What an amazing promise!

But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18