The Petersen Page

To Be Alive Is To Be Broken
November 4, 2007, 6:49 am
Filed under: My Devotionals


“I come into this place
Burning to receive your peace
I come with my own chains
From wars I’ve fought for my own selfish gain

You’re my God and my Father
I’ve accepted your Son
But my soul feels so empty now
What have I become?

“Lord, come with your fire,
Burn my desires; refine me
Lord, my will has deceived me
Please come and free me
Refine me” “Refine Me”-Jennifer Knapp

To Be Alive Is To Be Broken
Tonight is a peaceful night. I am laying in my cabin and its 2am here in Winthrop, Washington. I am in the middle of the Cascades and life has been hectic but hopeful this week. Outside of my window you can hear the coyotes crying if you listen intently, and the rush of the river behind me lulls me to sleep at night. This must be God’s country.
I am figuring out each day it seems that I am wreck. Not only am I physically a wreck but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally….i am not the person that God created me to be.
This week we have faced a ton of trials here in the mountains. Accidents, drunk drivers, crashes, hardships, heartache, loneliness, and uncertainty. I used to be afraid of all of these things, and I still am to a certain degree….but that is all changing.
I have been a Christian since I was 5 and prayed for Jesus to come into my life on the way home from school. Thursday school I think they called it. But I have misunderstood what a Christian is all about. The older I get, I understand that it is about realizing that we are all broken and in need of refinement. We are all a little nuts.
My best friend is struggling with so many things, and in the midst of it all sometimes can not see how God has a hold of their life. Can not see how He is mighty, and His burden is light. Sometimes I cover myself up…like a mask…..hiding the real life that is going on. From the outside…to my church, work, friends, and family….I am put together and whole….but inside my heart I am a mess. And God rejoices with this, because it allows Him room to sculpt our hearts and minds.
“To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.”
-Brennan Manning-The Ragamuffin Gospel
Uncertainty is a scary place. But faith is trusting in what we CAN NOT see. I wish I had more faith…..but I guess I am like Thomas. I want to put my finger in Jesus’s hand to prove to myself that He is real and telling me the truth sometimes.
I love the fact also that God brings people into our lives to challenge us in times of trial. To stretch us and mold us and push us closer to the Cross. He brings people to comfort us, and weep with us and guide us to the feet of our Maker.
Being broken means that God can FIX us. What a concept?
That the Maker of the Universe cares enough about us to put us back together…..even the messy parts and the areas of our lives that remain rebellious and pessimistic.
Tonight I challenge you to accept the fact that no one has it together. There is great relief in knowing that everyone struggle and goes through the valley…but those who put their trust in Jesus will never have to walk it alone.
Psalms 147:3 says,
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
I heard this story a couple weeks ago.
Sheep are very stupid animals, slow-witted and prone to following nearly anything that they perceive as leading them. Sometimes, in order to teach sheep a lesson or to take them to a certain place that they are too dull to go to themselves, the Shepard must break the legs of the sheep. It sounds like a cruel and unusual thing to do, but the sheep cannot learn otherwise.
The Shepard then takes the sheep and carries it on His back. He feeds the sheep from His pocket. He gives the sheep water from His flask. He speaks to the sheep and cares for it. He patiently and lovingly nutures the sheep back to health so that, when the sheep is healed again, it has completely forgotten that this same Shepard broke its legs earlier.
As the sheep is healed, the Shepard teaches. The dull sheep hears its master speaking all day long and all through the night. The sheep, though dull and slow-witted, gradually understands; gradually learns the lessons that the Shepard saw fit to teach in the first place. The dull sheep learns and grows and strengthens so that when it is recovered and set back on its feet again it knows more than all of the other sheep.
The sheep can now lead the flock, it can now teach the flock what it has learn. It can help grow the flock and demonstrate love, compassion, and impart wisdom to its fellow sheep.
The Shepard never broke the legs of His sheep merely to put Him back where He was before. The Shepard broke His sheep’s legs so that He could keep him near to teach him and guide him. To impart knowledge and to love and to grow the spirit of His sheep. The sheep isn’t put back where he was before. Instead, the sheep now runs ahead of the flock, guides the flock right next to the Shepard, and is endlessly blessed.

I am so proud to be a broken follower of Jesus.



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