I have a gold necklace that I wear all the time that holds a simple lightning bolt to proudly signify my loyalties to the OKC Thunder team. It’s the perfect length for every outfit and whatever occasion. But unfortunately, this precious necklace of mine is flawed.
As I prance around town throughout the day (yes, I prance), more often than not, the necklace gets caught on something – a door knob, a nail, sometimes just my hair – and in a quick jerk, the chain breaks leaving my necklace in more pieces than it should have. I mourn it every time, cursing me clumsiness yet again. Luckily these breaks are always salvageable. I can find the scattered pieces and shimmy the chain back together and wah-lah! It’s good as new!
Even in my best effort though, the chain (of it continuously breaking) can’t be broken (pun intended) and sadly, it happened again this week. I was looking for something in a drawer and stood up too quickly. The necklace stayed behind but this time, the chain broke in a way it had never done before. And yes, I cried out in frustration when this happened.
Sometimes things break. Friendships fall apart. Relationships end. Hearts get burned. Promises don’t get the expected follow through. All of these are reminders that we live in a broken world and in this brokenness, we experience deep hurts and disappointments.
My gut in these instances is to find the easiest path to fix what has been broken. I use sloppy methods to mend my brokenness with tools of this world. But just like with my necklace as soon as the pieces are brought back together, I turn around and watch it get torn apart again.
I’ll be honest. It’s frustrating. Constantly mending myself and nursing my wounds only to have the cycle repeated in some cruel Twilight zone-like movie. Sometimes all I want to do is shake my broken necklace in the air and scream, “I JUST got over this pain” or “I JUST stopped caring about so-and-so.” I’m tired, I’m exhausted and all I want is some shelter from the constant storms.
When my necklace broken yet again this week, I felt quite defeated. This was the end to my necklace and I just needed to accept the fact that I would never be able to wear it again. One my closest guy friends, Adam is quite the problem solver so I brought the pieces of my broken necklace to him. “You may not be able to do anything with it, it’s fine,” I blurted out. “If you can’t don’t worry about it.” I was already doubting his handyman skills even before he had the opportunity to check out the casualties.
There’s a reason why God calls us to lay our heavy burdens down at HIS feet, to lean on HIM when times are hard and allow HIM to carry us through our storms. It’s because it is impossible for us to do it ourselves. When things fall apart, the best thing for us to do isn’t to try to fix the problem ourselves but to hand over all the broken pieces to Him. Because even in our best efforts, our remedies fall short and pale in comparison to the wholeness that comes when we allow Him to heal our brokenness.
I got my Thunder necklace back from Adam today. Instead of putting it together with a flimsy chain, Adam had added a second chain to make it more secure. The necklace looks better and its chain stronger than ever. It made me realize how without his help, I would have continued repeating the cycle making my necklace weaker after each break never really getting it fully “fixed.”
When we love something, it’s hard to surrender its fate to someone else. We do the same with our hearts, we hold onto the shattered pieces tightly. After all, it’s better to be beyond repair because of our attempt than someone else’s. When we try to fix our brokenness, our hearts get weaker as well. Our pain tolerance gets lowered, our sense of self-worth and ability to forgive becomes non-existent and we become vulnerable to being hurt more often than not. But this vicious cycle can end. Our God can mend brokenness far greater than we could ever imagine, I’m talking more than two chains or three chains strong. We are secure in Him. Our hearts, our worth, our tomorrows are all so much better in His hands than ours…or AllState’s.
Sometimes things break and people who are close to us hurt us. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but it’s an inevitable fate in this world. But even when things break, know that there is still hope beyond your pain. When you find yourself holding to the broken pieces of your life, don’t be discouraged. Bring your brokenness to God, the ultimate handyman. He doesn’t just heal what’s broken, He makes them new and better than they ever were before.