When I was probably five or six, my mom set up a special girl's night at a local pottery shop. When we got there, I chose a figurine of a little girl in her bunny pajamas praying before bedtime. I loved it! It was a little bit bigger than my mom had planned, and it took me a while with all the colors I put on it... so it took a bit longer than she expected, but we had a wonderful evening! We waited a couple weeks for it to be baked, and then we picked it up. When we got home, my mom visited with a neighbor while I excitedly swung my figurine back and forth. Five year olds don't have a very good grip, and as you probably guessed, it went crashing... to the ground.
As I looked down at my shattered figurine, I burst into tears. My special treasure!
Smashed. Broken. Shattered.
Sometimes life can be just like my shattered figurine. We're so excited! We take our life in our hands, excited about the future. And it shatters. Or we aren't even touching it and it breaks to a thousand pieces.
How can something so broken be beautiful? Is there any meaning when our life crumbles? Can we find hope when everything around us is shattered?
I can't claim to know all the answers. While my life has cracked a few times, I have not experience the tragedies many of you may have faced or are facing now. But I hope that what I have learned can encourage you.
1. When life breaks, we find our true support
While it's not beautiful at the time, when life falls apart, we know who truly cares about us, who stays with us despite our sharp, shattered edges. The "friends" who are only with us to take or people who follow us just because we're popular will fade away. While this is hard, it also helps us to realize our true support.
I'm reminded of Job and his awful friends. He was struggling and hurting, and all his friends could do was say that he sinned and God must be mad at him. Instead of comforting him, they hurt him more.
I'm also reminded of Paul. In 2 Timothy 4, Paul shares: "At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!" Paul wasn't very popular at this point, was he? He lost all his fair-weather "friends," and learned the most important lesson of all... Which leads to...
2. When life is broken, that’s when we see God working
Just like with me and my broken treasure, when our lives are broken, when we're shattered and struggling, that is often when we can see God working the most. That's when we see His love in action.
My mom could have just swept the pieces up and thrown them in the garbage. After all, it was my fault. Swinging a figurine back and forth generally isn't the best way to protect it. But instead, my mom showed love by putting the pieces back together, even though I didn't deserve it. It still has cracks, and it doesn’t look the same - but in actuality, it is more beautiful now because of the love my mom poured into it. It doesn’t just stand for a lovely night together - it also demonstrates love when life feels broken.
I don't know what you're going through right now. I know I am currently working through a few things and have gone through a few hard times in the past. But when I look back on all the times I struggled the most, I can see those were the times when the Lord was closest. When He showed me Who He is, and how much He loves me.
3. When I'm broken is when I learn to trust
When life is going great, it's easy to say, "I trust God!" It's easier to walk the Christian life. But when the storms come, it's harder to trust. Harder to hold on. Harder to walk.
That's when the real test comes.
I'm reminded of the verse in Job 13 - "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him..." Job lost everything. His children, his livestock, his riches. This tragic situation tested his faith, pushed it to the limits, proved His love and trust of God.
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
If you're going through a time where life is shattering around you, take heart. God has beauty in it for you. He will use this situation for good.
As I write this, I am reminding myself that it is true. As I struggle with the situations in my life that are hard, I need to remind myself that God has a plan.
There's beauty in the broken.
Hi! My name is Hannah, and I enjoy playing piano, writing, hanging out with my family, and spending time with my Lord and Savior. Hope you are blessed!