(Genesis 3: 8-13, The Message)
8 When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.
9 God called to the Man: “Where are you?”
10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.”
11 God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?”
12 The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.”
God said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?”
13 “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”
I used to think I was just born broken, in fact, there are times I still struggle with the notion. We are all broken, right? Aren’t we all born broken and the blood of Christ is what fixes us? Broken people in a broken world. It’s somewhat true. Wiktionary tells me that this is what it is to be broken:
- Fragmented, in separate pieces.
- (of a body part) Having the bone in pieces, fractured.
- (of a line) Dashed, made up of short lines with small gaps between each one and the next.
- (of skin) Split or ruptured.
- Not working properly.
- Completely defeated and dispirited.
- (pejorative, of language) Grammatically non-standard, especially as a result of being a non-native speaker.
- Having no money, bankrupt, broke.
- (of an electronic connection) Disconnected, no longer open or carrying traffic.
- (software, informal) Badly designed or implemented.
- (meteorology, of the sky) Five-eighths to seven-eighths obscured by clouds.
- (sports and gaming, of a tactic or option) overpowered
- (colloquial, US, of a situation) Not having gone in the way intended; saddening.
As infants we come into this world innocent, into a world of sin, born with a sinful nature. Are we born fragmented, fractured, split or ruptured, not working properly, defeated and dispirited, bankrupt, disconnected, badly designed, obscured by clouds, overpowered, and not having gone the way intended; saddening? I refuse to believe that. You see, I know what God’s word says about me…about us.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
(Psalm 139:13-16, The Message)
We are not born broken. We are not born without a chance. Because of temptation and sin, because of that very first transgression made by Adam and Eve, this world in which we live can and will lead us into brokenness. Yet it is in that state of weakness that we are able to be rescued, made whole, and eventually filled up with every tool and weapon we will need to be victorious…to fulfill our purposes. It is then, in our brokenness, that we become connected to God through Christ. We find our intended paths. We learn to conduct and reflect the light of His joy. The clouds clear away, and not only do we see that we are we pieced back together, but we also begin to work properly again. So who’s to say how many times we might become broken yet again, but we must count it all as necessary…and count it all JOY.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
You were not born broken. You were born with the choice to be a victor, to take up your own cross, to carry it with joy and to become a whole, usable vessel. We must choose every single day to pour out the things of our lives at the foot of the cross of Christ and to say “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” If you are broken, just hold up what’s left as it is, walk through the fire willingly, and come out brand new. It isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so grateful to know that, just like with Adam and Eve, You created me whole and pure…in Your image, and though I make decisions that break me, there is unending love and forgiveness that covers my sin. Your blood and grace are what clothe me in my nakedness. Your love is what mends my brokenness and makes me beautiful again. So I lift it all up to You, every piece and shard, and I ask that you restore every part of my life. May it be unto Your glory always. Amen.