Have you ever heard of Kintsugi pottery? It's this unique but beautiful Japanese pottery where they take broken pieces and glue them back together with gold, making an intricate new and even more beautiful piece of art. What was once a basic piece of earthenware, suddenly becomes brand new, it's like a new life is breathed into the piece.
This is very similar to what happens when we say yes to the call of God. He sees us in our brokenness and says, "Hey you, Yes you, the broken person with all the flaws, who's hurting and may even be far beyond recognizable to those who used to know you Yup, I'm talking to you." Those are the very people he chose throughout the Bible.
But this week as I was reading, I found a new revelation about working through our brokenness.
I was reading through Matthew and came to 14:13 and read this:
“Now When Jesus heard about John (the Baptist death) He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
As I read this verse, I realized that even Jesus chose to work while in a state of pain. I can relate to the pain in Jesus’ heart at this time. You see John the Baptist wasn’t just a fellow in the kingdom, he wasn’t just a colleague of some sort in the same business of ministry. You see John the Baptist was Jesus’s own cousin (Luke 1:36). When they were in the womb, their mothers both spent time with one another (Luke 1:39), which would lead me to believe that they spent time together as children growing up as well. They likely would’ve been close to some extent. This death likely would have struck him hard.
Jesus leaving the crowds and going to the one place he could be alone, out on the boat on the water, I can understand this. You see Jesus was God but He was also man. He wept (John 11:35), He got angry (Matthew 21:12), He felt feelings just like we do.
In the last few months, my husband has had 4 deaths in their family. It has been a very challenging time. I’ve seen the 5 steps of mourning in full effect and seen the differences in how death affects each of us.
Me, personally, I think I relate to Jesus in this moment. When I’m sad, I want to escape. I don’t want to be around all the crowds of people. I want to be secluded. I want to be left alone.
But here’s where Jesus and I differ. “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
But Jesus, I’m hurting, how can I minister to the broken? But Jesus I don’t feel like smiling at people right now, how can I possibly greet at the door this Sunday? But Jesus I just can’t be around people right now, how can I go to church or bible study in this season? How can I write, when I’m struggling to decipher my own thought from yours?
Yes Jesus went away by himself, but it doesn’t imply that this was for a long period of time. In fact, it says they followed him by foot. Knowing how fickle these people have been in the past, I can’t imagine them following him for weeks or months while he was in his moment of solitude. No, this would’ve been hours perhaps days.
I hear God telling me, “so suck it up buttercup” “let the dead bury the dead (Luke 9:60)” and get to work. I’m sure God doesn’t talk to you like that, but that’s the kind of relationship we have.
Sure there is a season for mourning (Eccl 3:4), but His word says, “He is close to the broken hearted (psalm 34:18).” He’s not sending you out alone. He’s with you as your comforter when you’re suffering and hurting and just don’t wanna.
God prefers obedience over sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22). I’m learning that sometimes when I don’t feel like doing something, that’s when I should do it the most. It’s those times when I really really didn’t feel like going to church and go anyway that often receive the most impactful message.
It’s been so challenging to dig myself and my family out of the rut we’ve been in, but I have to remind myself that God has called me to more.
If you’re in a season of loss, take the time you need, but limit it. It’s much easier for the enemy to attack us when we’re alone (Eccl 4:12). Force yourself to find joy and force yourself to seek God in the midst of the pain and suffering and potentially even doubting. When we lost Luis’s 15 year old nephew, there were so many questions and so much anger and pain. It was really hard to see God as good in that moment. But we live in a broken world, God is not bad because our circumstances are bad.
If you’re hurting I pray you find comfort, I pray that you seek the lord in your brokenness. There is healing for you and He will not leave you in this.
God uses the broken, and He can and will use your brokenness too, if you will say yes.
He yearns to turn you into a beautiful new masterpiece.