by Cindy Hester
I must admit God, I sometimes have trouble believing you could love me. After all, I'm nowhere close to perfect, and some days I struggle with tolerating my own behavior. Why is it easier to retain the negative than to accept the positive about myself? I once thought this to be equivalent to humility, but You've helped me to see this behavior is actually more equivalent to rebellion against the all-powerful, all-forgiving God you are. I am beginning to see that I must allow You to clear my heart and mind to receive Your perfect correction and Your positive instruction in order to grow. You created me. My constant rejection of Your handiwork and Your plan for me keeps me locked in chains of bondage that You never intended me to wear.
But I have so many broken pieces Lord. I walk in Your power upright in faith for a time, then out of nowhere, I divert my eyes, I'm blindsided, and I stumble and fall. You, however, wait patiently for my cry for help, then in love, You reach down and lovingly draw me to my feet, lift my head, and restore my dignity and faith.
Maybe we are all a little like the unique gifts I saw in a restaurant I recently visited while on vacation. My eyes were especially drawn to some wall hangings made from broken pieces of rock, glass, and discarded jewelry. The artist had carefully taken each one - useless on its own merit - and created a beautiful mosaic covering a piece of wood cut in the shape of a cross. Once all fragments were in place, the finished product was sealed and made whole with a clear coating to secure each piece and to give it a brilliant finish. One couldn't help but notice their beauty as they hung against the bright pink backdrop sparkling under a brilliant display light.
As I stood studying the design, Jesus gently began speaking to my heart. He reminded me to bring to Him the broken, discarded pieces of my life and allow Him, the Master Artist, to place them against the backdrop of His Son, Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross. You see, whenever we ask and accept His forgiveness and grace, He seals these pieces together through the blood of Christ into a colorful mosaic, creating a thing of beauty out of our brokenness. If we then submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to display us against the backdrop of His matchless power under the brilliance of His glory, we cannot help but draw others unto Him.
Like these crosses cannot boast in their own power of what they have created of themselves, we must be willing to release our broken pieces to Him in order for Him to make of us a new creation. We must trust Him with the design...we must trust Him to see the beauty in the brokenness...we must trust and allow Him to work in and through us to do His good and perfect will. We are not asked to do this in and of our own power, and we are to give Him all the glory. Thank You Jesus.
"Dear Lord, I bring to You my broken pieces. Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Please take the broken fragments of my life and create a thing of beauty that can be used to direct others to Your saving grace. I pray for those who are hurting today. Although the situations they are facing seem hopeless or maybe even cruel, You know the plans You have for them, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give a hope and a future. You alone have the power to create beauty from ashes and to give hope to the hopeless. I praise You in the storm, and I praise You in the good times. I pray that I will allow You to use me however, wherever You want to reveal Your glorious, amazing grace. I thank You for what You are already doing to bring restoration, joy, and purpose back into the lives of many who so desperately need a touch from Your loving hand today. It is not in my power I ask these things, but through the power of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen."
"The Spirit of the Sovereign is on me, to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives to proclaim the year of the ’s favor to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty They will be called oaks of righteousness,