Being broken

woman cryingWe had George Barna on Catch radio last Tuesday night. I was so excited. Wow, we’ve got George Barna to ourselves for an hour! Finally we’ll find out what’s wrong with the church. This is the guy with all the research. This is the guy everybody quotes. “Barna says this,” and “Barna says that.” Finally everyone will find out I’ve been right all along.

Instead we heard about brokenness for an hour. We heard that there can be no transformation without brokenness. We heard how George found out through research what the word of God has been saying all along. If God’s going to use you, God’s got to break you. And how will God do that? It will be different for each one of us.

Well whoopee! This is just what we wanted to hear! Not.

In some ways, its the last thing we want to hear.

It’s a question I can ask, but only you can answer. That’s because the answer is not an intellectual one you can memorize and give back at the right time. The answer is not found in knowledge. The answer is known in experience.

Where am I being broken today? God is trying to get my attention. The more we try and fight this, the farther we will have to fall in order to find it out. It’s already happening, the question is: are we letting it happen? Are we allowing it or denying it?

Where am I being broken today? It’s not a concept. It’s not an intellectual truth to be embraced in my mind. It is an experience. It’s something I am already experiencing, it’s just that I am either fighting it or giving into it. I am either letting myself be broken or I am fighting being broken. I am either letting the Lord have His way with my life or I am having my own way with my life. Which is it?

Where am I being broken today?

Why do I keep on asking this? Why is this so important? Because there is no transformation without brokenness. There is no short cut to spiritual growth. There is no way you can get this right and not have to suffer for it. There’s no way we can be like Christ and still insist on being who we want to be.

George found this out through research. He found out that less than 5% of the Christians interviewed knew what it meant to be broken. Less than 5% could tell a story about being broken. Less than 5% knew that being transformed had anything to do with being broken.

Do I know what I’m talking about? Barely. That’s why I’m writing about it. I want to find out. Listen to George’s interview. Read Marti’s review. I’m going to talk a lot about this because I don’t know enough about what it means.

Like a horse whose will has to be broken before it can be one with its rider, God wants us to be one with Him.

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14 Responses to Being broken

  1. Who’s George Barna? 🙂

    If you want to find brokenness in the church, go to a Celebrate Recovery meeting. Those are THE most broken people in the church today, and they know it, and they’re discovering that God is real… to the broken. “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

    If you’d like to see some examples of broken people that have found healing, watch the movie Seabiscuit – I’m coming out with a review of it in a couple of hours: three men and a horse, all broken, who come together, are able to read each other’s hearts, make a decision to believe in each other, and, together, find healing.

    Great quote from the movie: “”You know, you don’t throw a whole life away just ’cause he’s banged up a little.” That’s God’s attitude towards us. It should be our attitude towards each other.

  2. greg Krejci says:

    I agree. Celebrate Recovery is filled with broken people who are looking for help in their brokenness. That is just one avenue. For alot of us, there are no specific programs or groups that we can join.That is because just like a diamond there are many facets to our brokenness that cannot be covered in a group or class. Most of us are just left to struggle alone with God until we come to the point of surrender just like a young horse takes to a saddle and then a rider. There is a song from the 70’s from a local artist that I love to quote. ” God has a purpose, a place and a time, where every believer surely finds themselves painfully yeilded to that last ray of life, to be beautifully broken inside. ” We, being fallen people, must be ready to be broken daily, hourly, minutely, the rest of our lives. God wants to polish each of our broken facets until we become the brilliant diamond that God created us to be.

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    I am not entirely sure I’m fully qualified to answer: (sorry 4 making this a bit long of a read) Where am I being broken today? Although, I did luv what Waitsel Smith wrote about those @ a Celebrate Recovery meeting, plus thoroughly enjoyed the quote from the Movie Seabiscuit, which contains a ton of truth!

    My Lord & Savoir helped give me some insight to give an answer before I fully a-woke from a coma, or I think it was the night before I did – I remember this pretty easily because they used to keep me strapped down to the hospital bed @ night and I tried to escape a few times and they (the Doctors & Nurses) were greatly concerned that I could fall down and hit my head, which could led to me going back into a deep coma. That I had been in for 3 months prior to this evening. Well this one evening I was really struggling pretty hard to get this strap off of me and it jus plainly hurt me as I did this. And I remember crying from the pain it caused me and thinking out loud my God my God, oh why Jesus why is this happening to me and where am I! (I didn’t know I was in the hospital from a car accident)

    When I settled down, that evening and tears were flowing down my cheeks I recalled a song I remembered hearing @ Church: “The chains that seem to bind you, will drop helplessly behind you, when you praise the Lord.” I remember thinking, well God I surely don’t know where I am at, but I do know that you know, so I’ll praise you…

    The next morning, or at least I think it was as my parents (bless their hearts, but they drove out to the hospital every day jus to see me) anyway as they walked into the room – they could tell, I had awoken-up from the coma. My mother fell to her knees crying & thanking God – I asked my Dad where am I and what had happen to me!?! He told me I was in a car accident and I’ve been in and out of a coma.

    We had a good cry together and a few nights later I remembered singing, or at least trying to sing praises to my Lord & Savoir. About 17 yrs later I had a stroke and as I laid in that hospital bed looking up, I asked why again God? You need me out there sharing your good news! I think I could hear the Holy Spirit whispering a laugh over that… and to me and me alone it was spoken to my heart – He doesn’t need you, you need Him. (which i think He told Job more or less the same)

    Plus now I am praising him for allowing me to not be able to walk all that well and very far, so my Doc got me a power wheelchair which greatly helps me to go out grocery shopping and doing other things for myself and I have a pic of me in it on the back of a post-card, plus jus yesterday a college coach more or less said he’s willing to try my product, a multivitamin which is guaranteed to help add his athletes performance, which will be a double win – he helps me and his players.

    So I finding myself wanting to thank God for allowing me to have a stroke…

    • jwfisch says:

      Mark, you deal with a very tangible brokenness every day. You can teach us a lot about this.

      • Mark Seguin says:

        Well I thank-you Pastor John 4 your kindness and thoughtful comments, yet when I get a bit up-set and fly off the handle – mostly in the kitchen while trying to cook or make myself something to eat it happens often, that I’ll let out a few favorite curse words, so I’m not to sure about being able to teach a lot about it… But it was funny the other day I seen my new next door neighbor, so I mentioned to her, she might have to forgive me every-now-and-then, if she hears me cussing out-loud – it was sooo funny, she goes well believe me Mark if I was only one-handed I’d be letting those words out too and more than likely a lot more often then you do!
        PS plus just yesterday this time I get an email reply back from another Universities coach and not a phone call back in regards to discussing the use of my, or Nutrilite’s multivitamin – So Praise God it’s only a mater of time, that I’ll be able to work my way off of disability income! 🙂

  4. Linda from Texas says:

    Hello John – Thank you for the lesson and also everyone else who responded. Mark, it’s so nice to get to know you better and learn something from your experiences. After reading all this today it helps me understand more II Cor. 4:16-18 which I have taped on my computer….”inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all…” Our troubles are helping us! That’s a pretty big thing to get your mind around.

  5. Nobody says:

    Don’t know why but the post today made me think of this song:

    Songs: Ohia (Jason Molina – December 16, 1973 – March 16, 2013)

    Being In Love

    Being in love
    Means you are completely broken
    Then put back together

    The one piece that was yours
    Is beating in your lover’s breast
    She says the same thing about hers

    However I have gotten here
    I have plans to be with you
    And for the first time it is working

    And I am proof that the heart
    Is a risky fuel to burn
    Yeah, we are proof
    That the heart is a risky fuel to burn

    What’s left after that’s all gone
    I hope to never learn
    But if you stick with me, you can help me
    I’m sure we’ll find new things to burn

    ‘Cause we are proof
    That the heart is a risky fuel to burn
    Yeah, we are proof
    That the heart is a risky fuel to burn

  6. DB says:

    Take this heart
    Take this heart
    Take this heart
    And make it break
    — “Yahweh” by U2

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Very cool verses from a song by U2 – i dont thinnk, or can remember if i ever heard it, yet i like it a lot DB, and thx 4 sharing it.
      PS DB your web site is down, or when i clicked on your underline name it didn’t take me to ur web page…

  7. Mike says:

    John,
    Thanks for your column about being broken. The brokenness I experience comes in many forms such as chronic illnesses that must be endured each day. Part of my experience of brokenness is being more aware of just how broken I already am and then surrendering that brokenness to the Triune God. This act of surrendering my brokenness and my desire for healing opens up a portal of grace from Him that enables me to be closer to Him and rely on Him instead of my self.
    Very gradually (read: slowly), I am learning to accept my brokenness as gifts that inch me closer to the One who understands pain and brokenness better than anyone – My Lord Jesus.
    Thank you for reading.

    Mike

  8. Pingback: Being Broken - Wild Frontier's Blog PageWild Frontier's Blog Page

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