back pain and being spiritually broken

So, it’s fitting that I’d be sitting here typing this post on New Year’s Eve with a strained back. No, I’m not going for self-deprecation or even some take on karma. The past few weeks have been a noted time of breaking down for me. But up until this past weekend, it was more of an emotional breaking down. I suppose God felt it was time to further the process. And it wasn’t until yesterday that I had any clue why. Because of that, I can honestly tell you I’m grateful for where I sit right now. But how can one be grateful for being broken?

The joy in being broken

The joy of the believer lies not in the surroundings or the current state of being, but in the perpetual being of God. What is this supposed to mean? That’s a great question, friend. It means that God only allows us to be broken because of how good He is. It may not make sense today, but God stoops to our depths to allow us to endure pain just so He can show us truly how bright is the Light. He loves us so much that He will show us the kind of tough love that we need most in the moment. I wish you could understand this to be as beautiful as I see it right now. Because in the moment of pain and despair, He lifts our beleaguered head and gives us sips of grace. No, the pain is but fleeting, the broken parts of us will be mended momentarily.

God of the broken

A quick glance over the lineage of Jesus will show that He came from a family tree sprinkled with persons from every walk of life. From prostitutes to priest kings, criminals to those after God’s heart, Jesus can claim all relatives. What this means to us today is that Jesus grew up hearing stories of broken people, calling them His ancestors. Jesus lived a life nothing short of being completely broken to the will of God. However, you never once see Him complain about being broken. Au contraire, you see Him rejoice and call others to the same. Jesus understood intrinsically that being broken was the only way to be made whole. He knew that broken was only broken in name, nothing more. And so we rejoice as He rejoiced.

The rejoicing of the broken

As another year draws to a close, I encourage you friend to take stock of the past 365 days. Where have you seen victory? Where have you felt failure? In those failures, where have you felt most pricked, angry, frustrated? Now, stay with that feeling. Delve deeper; follow the rabbit trail. I’ll be willing to bet that along the path, there lies at least one way in which God is waiting for you to offer up yourself to be gently broken. Don’t be afraid. He is good. God is gentle. God is loving. God is the God of the broken. So rejoice with me into the new year, friend. Rejoice.