SOONER THE SUN
I'm sitting at our dining room table near the biggest window in our home. When I sit there, I don't have to turn on a lamp. The outdoor light is enough. A few minutes ago, the room filled with a warm glow as the sun broke through the pines that stand tall in our neighbor's yard across the street. When I first sat here to write, there was no sign of the sun. I anticipated another dreary December day without the warmth of its light. What a pleasant surprise to be writing in the glimmer of sunshine.
Sunshine is often used as a metaphor for happiness. We endure a bout of difficult times and then one day the sun breaks through the clouds and brings joy once again. I just finished a great book by Charles Stanley titled, The Blessings of Brokenness. The words "blessing" and "brokenness" don't seem to go together, but according to Stanley God can bring good out of the most heartbreaking crises. "The way to blessing, however, lies in turning to God to heal us and make us whole," says Stanley. "We decide whether we will yield to Him and trust Him."
When I think of all the times in my life that I experienced brokenness, I also remember a blessing that came after the brokenness. Like a ray of sunshine breaking through a dreary day, something wonderful came into my life after a time of suffering. The suffering may have been the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or a string of bad health, but each period of brokenness was followed by positive change that made my life better from that point on.
God doesn't allow brokenness in our lives because he doesn't care. He allows it so we can experience the blessing that comes afterward--the better relationship after ending a wrong one, the better marriage after a separation, the better job after losing a job. According to Stanley, God breaks us to get our attention and to deal with some aspect of our lives that is keeping us from experiencing the fullness of what He has planned for us. God also wants to bring us to a point of complete reliance and total trust in Him. This can only be accomplished by breaking us.
My first instinct is to resist this breaking process. But my resistance only prolongs the agony. The only way to shorten a period of brokenness is to accept it and yield to the changes and lessons God is bringing into my life.
The moment we surrender to what God is trying to accomplish through adversity is the moment the problem improves. The less we stomp our feet, question and try to control the situation the sooner the sun appears. Warmth and light break through much sooner if we allow the brokenness to accomplish its purpose: changed attitudes, a different direction, better understanding, closer relationships, or deeper trust. Brokenness opens the door to greater blessings for the rest of our lives.