A Slow-Learned Lesson

We are all broken. To one degree or another, the best among us are broken. We’re all in need of some sort of healing, or growing. We all need to be restored, to be put back together.

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about brokenness and restoration. Now I’d like to share something with you, something that I’ve only learned through the long, slow, arduous process of repeated breaking and healing.

It is this.

The magnitude of my suffering has never been in proportion to the magnitude of my misfortune. Instead, the magnitude of my suffering has always been proportional to my brokenness.

Hatred, discouragement, bitterness, selfishness, greed, lack of faith, an unwillingness to forgive – these are some of the attributes of brokenness.

These things magnify, ten-fold and a hundred-fold, the effects of misfortune. Misfortune may be an illness, an automobile accident, a house-rending tornado. All of these things are more devastating if you’re broken.

Sometimes our brokenness is a direct contributor to our misfortune. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and our brokenness leads to crippling debt, a loveless marriage, a painful betrayal, a messy divorce, or cirrhosis of the liver.

In every case – whether we contribute to our misfortune, or whether it’s caused by circumstances we can’t control – in every case, our degree of brokenness affects both our level of pain and our ability to recover.

Enter God.

I’m going to ask you to do something very hard. I hope you’ll try it.

Instead of appealing to God about your suffering, appeal to him about your brokenness. It is here, in the healing of your brokenness, that your suffering will begin to diminish.

You can approach him again, later, about the suffering. You’ll know when it’s time.

Meanwhile, God can do things in you that you cannot do. He wants to. Why not let him?

–Bob Young

Books by Bob Young

Recovering Hope

Friend, here is the reason for your despair.

Satan is working diligently to convince you that your current path is leading you to an inevitable outcome. The result is that you continue to set one foot in front of another, walking this same path, knowing its consequences, yet unable to alter your course.

But God, who made you, is with you. You can walk a new way – change your course – one step at a time. It won’t be long before your steps result in a cumulative change in direction. You will have turned everything around. The threat that loomed so large will recede and grow smaller.

God made you. He doesn’t resent your years of rejection. He delights in your desire to change that future which appeared so unavoidable. You will see light again. You’re getting a glimpse of light and hope from the Spirit of God even now, as you read these words in defiance of the voice that told you to stop.

Your new direction has begun.

–Bob Young
May 23, 2012

Note: this message was written about the despair that comes from self-destructive behavior, and doesn’t apply to everyone. I understand that you, in your despair, may not relate to these words. I’m praying for you, too, and I’ll write another article that may be more relevant to your situation. –Bob