As I write, it’s Remembrance Sunday, when we honour those who have died for our freedom. The words of Jim Radfords “The Shores of Normandy” (Which you can watch here..it’s beautiful) tell his story of being a young galley boy among that amazing fleet that went to confront our enemies on the 6th June 1944. One verse says…
Now the Empire Larch was a deep-sea tug with a crew of thirty-three,
And I was just the galley-boy on my first trip to sea.
I little thought when I left home of the dreadful sights I’d see,
But I came to manhood on the day that I first saw Normandy.
He sings of men dying among the swirling tides of Normandy. And on that day, seeing the horrors of war as a 15 year old lad, he became a man. He saw the brokenness of the world in all its pain, sorrow and grief.
We too are Broken
We too, in our own ways, grow up to adulthood when we are touched by the brokenness of the world, and travel ourselves through seasons of brokenness. At times we are broken through the cruelty of others, or through the pains of this world in sickness and death. Sometimes we break ourselves against the rocks of sin and shame. Whichever way it comes, most discover the pain of brokenness sooner or later.
Perhaps as you read this blog, you are broken, in pain, confused, overwhelmed, crushed.
The good news is, God is still with you. And God is still for you. And there is life after brokenness.
ISAIAH 57:15 says “For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is broken and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
To be broken means to be smashed, crushed, torn, shattered, crouched down. Is that you today? If it is, here’s what you should do:
My Sacrifice O God…
King David was crushed by the shame and disillusionment of his sins. He’d committed adultery, then had the woman’s husband killed. This special king, who was a “man after God’s own heart” (!)… had failed, and failed hugely. He was broken, shattered, ruined – realising his wickedness and selfishness.
But in Psalm 51, the song where he confesses his sin and pain, he draws to the end saying “My sacrifice O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
I’m sure there had been times when he had brought God more excited, passionate, glorious worship. But today, it was his brokenness that became his sacrifice. He gave God his crushed spirit, his torn emotions, his overwhelmed mind, his shattered heart. He turned his brokenness into a sacrifice of worship.
So, broken friend – God does not despise that tear soaked broken worship. In fact, He will receive it, and in return wash you with grace, mercy, healing and wholeness; a divine exchange – Beauty for ashes. Glory for suffering. Dancing for mourning.
So worship God with your brokenness today. Let him turn your brokenness into beauty. It may be the purest worship you’ve ever brought.