I had just walked in the door after dropping kids off at school. I was so ready for a quiet morning, time spent with Jesus, and getting a couple things done before heading into the busy-ness of the day.
I’m a candle-girl. I love the peace a flickering flame and a pretty scent add to my home. I grabbed a jar candle by the lid from the pantry, and stared in horror as the thing dropped to the floor, shattering the top portion of the jar of my brand. new. candle.
Glass shards splayed across the kitchen floor. I cleaned the mess, feeling the frustration of breaking something that usually brings me joy. The frustration of knowing I had broken something new, made it unusable by not being careful to handle the body of the candle, rather than simply the lid.
Once the floor was clean enough for the boys to walk across on bare feet, I looked at that broken candle jar . . . and I couldn’t throw it away.
Buying a new one wasn’t an option. I crafted a plan so I could still use it. And hopefully, I wouldn’t slice myself on the jagged edges of the glass in the process.
The flame burned still, rather than dancing, and it made me think.
We can be broken but still used by God. Life breaks us, or a portion of who we are. Things happen that shatter our hearts, cause our thoughts about ourselves to turn negative.
Sometimes the breaking happens because of choices we make.
Sometimes we’re broken by the things that happen to us.
We may be broken, but it doesn’t mean we’re worthless. God values broken vessels. Broken vessels can be humble vessels. Humility burns with beauty in God’s scheme of things.
When we are broken, God doesn’t see us as “less-than.” He sees us as cherished. He loves us with tenderness.
Our light may shine a little more dimly. It may reflect through fractures in our “glass,” but it can also sprinkle beauty to those around us. We will not be used in the same way as people we know. We have broken facets in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we need to be thrown away.
People may not see our value, but God? He sees us through the filter of His love.
When things in our lives break us, God doesn’t say, “Oops.” He isn’t taken by surprise. He knows how to turn the brokenness into something He can use, into something that reflects Jesus to the world around us.
He gradually cleans up the shards in our lives, soothing over brokenness with His healing.
Yes, we need to be handled with care when we are working through brokenness. We can’t always share what did the breaking with those around us.
But we have a Father who listens as we weep, holds us as we cry, listens as we work through our anger.
He strengthens us, molds us back together stronger than we were before, so that our flame can burn straight, tall, steady.
There may be people in our lives who will throw us away once we are broken. They may ease out of the relationship we once shared. But our Father, our loving Father, will never throw us away. He will walk with us, work with us and love us in the ways only He can do: perfectly, passionately, completely.
What about you? When have you salvaged something that was broken? When have you seen God use you in spite of being broken?