"The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." Psalm 51:17
As time blows over the calendar of my life and the weeks turn quickly into months and the months roll quietly into years, I'm learning (finally) some pretty powerful life lessons. You would think that as I passed the mid-century mark, the light bulb over some of these truths would have clicked on long before now.
It has been my privilege and honor over the last 20 years in ministry to talk with and listen to some pretty awesome and amazing people. I have come to believe that I can learn "something" from everyone I encounter if I just make the time to look and really take in what they say. I have had the pleasure of talking to and interacting with the whole spectrum of humanity from the very wealthy and powerful in the halls of academia to the homeless and mentally challenged aimlessly walking the lonely streets of New York City. When you get right down to it, we aren't really all that different. By that I mean that the scripture says in Proverbs 22:12, "The rich and poor have this in common; The LORD made them both."
I have come to understand that all of us come to certain crossroads on this journey we are on. One of those pivotal points is when we hit something( or something hits us) that pretty much knocks us to our knees and we find ourselves in another realm that we didn't prepare for. We all experience those monumental "exit ramps" that scream in our ears "It's over. You're done - finished!" You know what I'm talking about; the "I can't do this anymore" moments. If you haven't had one yet, brace yourself - it's coming.
The girls in my Bible Study know I often use the line "There are two kinds of people..." when I'm trying to help them grasp what it truly means to passionately pursue Christ. Well, I am learning there are two kinds of people; Those who are "broke" and those who are "broken." As I look back now, I realize that so many of the times I really thought I was broken, I wasn't broken at all - I was just plain broke! Sure I was at a point of being without, whether it was without money, or friends, or acceptance, or influence or respect. And mind you - I didn't like the feeling of being without those things. I felt angry and hurt and frustrated but I didn't let those feelings lead me to brokenness. They didn't soften my heart. I allowed them to harden it. And I didn't even realize it.
Until one morning as I was walking and talking with the Lord I said, "Lord, whatever it takes to make me more like you; that's what I want." Hmmm. I don't believe now that I really understood what I was asking for in that prayer. But He did. And He answered. The journey I started on that day has taken me to places I would have never gone with Him had I known ahead what was in store. He knew. He knows. I never knew a person could be so crushed and survive. He did. I was. I still am. I'm ok.
Psalm 34:18 says, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
He is. He does.