Saturday, September 2, 2017

He breaks you and builds you up.

About this time last month, my home church held their student camp on its property. Every morning and evening, we gathered together in the worship center, which had been decked out with a different set-up and strobe lights, and we would listen to a message. One of the days, as part of his lesson, our speaker had us call out different negative and positive attributes that people believe about Jesus Christ, and who they perceive him to be. The speaker would then write it down. Of course, the "positives" were supposed to be the truths about Jesus. One student, I remember, raised his hand and said, "He breaks you and builds you up," to which the speaker responds, "Uh, here, let's just put that he builds you up."

We are uncomfortable with the brokenness. We don't like to focus too much on the unraveling, the exposing, the hurt that comes with knowing Jesus. And we're afraid to call it out about him-- because it doesn't always make him look attractive. It’s hard to see that Jesus as the same Jesus as good Jesus. We just want to get to the part where we *feel* good again-- but there is no building up without the tearing down of our walls. It is so beautifully and uniquely Jesus Christ, the way he breaks us. How he demands we rid ourselves of what is deceiving us to death. It is a testimony of miracles being witnessed and experienced in our lives, how we *never* could have made it through on our own strength. How we, for reasons we can't completely explain, found joy in the trials.

Right now, it is happening to my state-- it's breaking. In the past week, the coast of Texas has suffered a massive and intense hurricane/tropical storm, bringing us some of the worst flooding you've ever seen. It feels as if it were a dream-- like, did that really happen? Homes destroyed, people drowning-- a traumatic, historical event from which we will be in recovery for years to come. And yet, in the midst of it all? A response of love. It's almost unanimously agreed that unification is at the heart of our country like no other time than when we are in such a crisis as this one-- and it's found in the community, among the country's very own people. We have been grateful for how the brokenness has built us up in more ways than we thought possible-- in relationships with our neighbors, in our sacrifice for the sake of others, in our courage and willingness to serve-- in the things that are UNMATCHED against the suffering. Do we ignore the pain? By all means, no. We embrace it. We cradle it in tears. We acknowledge that we hate the storm, and we lament the suffering-- but we do it together. It is in this lament and sorrow that we are being built up again, because it draws us to fight for each other. It snaps us out of our heads, straight into our hearts and humanity, awakening us to love without hesitation. It gives us the courage to take hold of our Hope and to take it day by day. We forget "who we are," and remember who. we. are. Broken, and built up-- this time, stronger. And it never would have happened otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I'm going through the season of breaking myself and I couldn't agree more. It's the most difficult at the same time hopeful time because God does something beyond the ordinary. Thank you Anna for the reminder.