Built to be Broken


14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psalms 51:14-17 (ESV)

Shiny and new.  That’s how our society likes things.  We would sooner replace something that needs repair than fix it.

These are definitely the days of disposable thinking.  Corporations even help us along by manufacturing products with “built-in obsolescence”.  We had an appliance salesman once tell us that “they don’t build freezers like they to.  If you have an old chest freezer that still works, don’t get rid of it.  The new ones are made to last only about seven years.”  (I have no scientific data to back up the salesman’s statement.  I am merely paraphrasing his words.)

It’s a good thing for us that God doesn’t take that approach.  When sin entered the world, the Lord could have looked at Adam and Eve and said, “Well, they’re broken.  Guess I’d better toss ’em out.  They’re useless now.”

But He didn’t.  Instead He made a way for us.  Even when humanity became so sinful and depraved that God opted to flood the earth and wipe the people from the face of the earth, He waited until only one righteous family (Noah’s) remained.  That way, mankind would not be utterly obliterated, but would have another chance.

Even at that low point, humanity was deemed worthy of saving by God.

God did not create mankind with “built-in obsolescence”.  Rather, it is in our brokenness that we are strengthened, matured, and deemed worthy.  To have a “broken and contrite heart” is to realize our sinful nature and how totally we rely on God.  Our hearts are broken and contrite when we turn away from our old ways and allow God to break us and “create in (each of us) a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within (us)” (Psalms 51:10, ESV).

We are not worthy because of anything we do or say or think.  We are righteous because God has made us so.  Some folks have a hard time with that simple truth.  They want to hang on to past sins and pains like a badge of honor.  While scars are permanent reminders, they should bring back the memory of a wound bound and healed.  The scar means the pain is gone.  The wound is healed.  Scars should bring joy, as they illustrate God working through our brokenness.

Consider this: when we have a broken bone, we cannot fix the injury ourselves.  We need a doctor to set the bone so it will heal properly. As the bone begins to repair, there is a point when the area of the break is stronger than the unbroken parts.  Later, when healing is completed, the entire bone – even the area where the fracture occurred – is of equal strength.

So it is when we are broken in spirit.  Broken in family.  Broken hearted, broken in any way.  We cannot heal ourselves.  We need Jesus.  And when God comes to help us, we are stronger at the area of the break than anywhere else.  Once we are healed, the scar remains to remind us of God’s great love and care for us.

For you.

It is through our brokenness that we find how helpless we are, yet not disposable.  God is with us.  Which is good news, because we cannot survive without Him.  And our scars serve to remind us – and proclaim to others – that God is good!  That the Lord loves us each so much that He sent His Son to die for us.  That He is our healer, The One Who cares for us.

The One Who says we were not created with “built-in obsolescence”.

It doesn’t matter what you have done.  Go to the Lord.  Be utterly broken of yourself and your sin and let God our Father save you.

Mend you.

Heal you.

No, you don’t deserve it.  None of us do.  It is a gift from our Loving Savior.  And what true gift has to be earned?

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