Beauty in Brokenness

"He has made everything Beautiful in it's time." Eccl. 3:11

Let it Go! (Not the Frozen version)

on April 11, 2014

As I was thinking about this past year, I have been blown away by all that has happened.  So much change and transition, growth and frustration.  There is rejoicing and adventure, along side confusion.  I pretty much had it all covered.

The end of the year (I work on school years, not normal people years) is approaching along with recently celebrating my birthday.  It made me a bit more introspective than normal.  I got a chance to sit and look back on all that God has brought me through.

 

  • Raised all my support to come to NIU this fall
  • Moved from my parents house to being on my own again.
  • A new church family
  • A whole new set of friends
  • Lots of travel
  • Full time ministry on a college campus
  • Leaving long distance behind in our relationship
  • Lots of highs and lows of ministry

 

My life has almost completely changed from what it looked like last spring.  In some ways I could not be any happier.  This truly is exactly where I had wanted to be.  It is so great to feel like I am making a home for myself here.  But change and growth never comes without frustration and disappointment.

Sometimes you don’t fully comprehend all that you have gone through until you look back.  As things change a little at a time, they slide under your radar.  But one day you look up and realize that everything is different.

The Lord led me back to one of my favorite passages (I liked it so much that I tattooed it on my foot).

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+3%3A1-15&version=ESV

(Vs. 11 for my tattoo inspiration)

 

Ecclesiastes can be a bit depressing if you read it without the right perspective.  It can also be really freeing as well.

Everything is meaningless. Nothing matters.  Unless Jesus gives it purpose.

Eat, drink, and be merry.  Do not toil.  Because the Lord has everything covered.

It would be easy to take these verses and twist them to suit our own will.  But they also convey something beautiful about the Lord.

He has everything covered.  Do not work and toil to make life something that it doesn’t need to be.  We can pursue His will and obey Him, without killing yourself and fretting about getting everything perfectly right.  We can rest knowing that it is not our job to give life meaning and purpose.  We can’t.

Purpose, meaning, fulfillment, and success… Those things come from the Lord alone.  he is letting us off the hook.  Freeing us from the fear of failure and the striving to find purpose.

We can just be.  And obey.  And rest.  With joy and peace.

Because He is in control.

The first part of the passage hit me really hard.  There is a time for everything.  The good and the bad.  It all has purpose.

God is not absent in the death or mourning or silence.  He is in it with you.  He purposed it for a reason.  And His reason is always good.

For me, the temptation is always there to look over the past and think “what did I do?”  “Could I have done something better to avoid the hard stuff?”

But that is not the point!  It is legalistic to think that the hard things are because of something we did or didn’t do.  Because that means that the good things are because God is pleased with us based on something we did.

“His salvation is not by our works, so that no man should boast.” Ephesians 2:9

If we constantly evaluate our lives based on our circumstances and our performance, we will miss the joy of a relationship with Christ.  That’s exhausting and hopeless.  We will never reach a point where life is not in some aspects difficult.  But that does not mean that Christ is not pleased with us.

God is pleased with us because of the work that Jesus already finished on the cross.  The only way we could have any effect on that is if we crawled up on the cross next to Him and suffered God’s wrath… and then rose again.

Can you do that?

Do you want to?

 

I don’t!

 

So relax… Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop making God like an unreasonable boss right before your end of the year review.

He is sovereign over it all, even our weakness. Even our unfaithfulness.  Even our sin.

He has it covered.  His plans are never frustrated.  He is never surprised.  But He also does not have an unrealistic view of what we are capable of.

He died on the cross because we were incapable.  And He did it willingly.

He does not rely on us, but He does ask us to rely on Him.  That means taking steps of faith, that means trusting, and that means letting go of control (or unrealistic expectations).

 

Work, but don’t toil.

Seek righteousness, but do not give in to condemnation.

Walk the path that God has laid out for you and do not apologize for it.

Embrace the weeping and the laughing, the mourning and the dancing, the silence and the joy.

God made it all… and He declared it all beautiful.

 

“So let us taste and see that the Lord is good.”  Psalm 34:8

 

Ecclesiates 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

 

But just for giggles, I can’t reference frozen without giving you a little taste of the awesomeness… Here you go!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: