You know, so often we’re tempted to think that brokenness is a bad thing. The reality of brokenness is seen in our communities. It’s seen in our home. The reality of gangs and drugs and all kinds of issues with poverty, man, there’s starving kids all over the world. I mean, so many families have been broken and shattered because of the realities that we see of sinfulness dominating our world today. And there is a reality that says brokenness is bad, but it’s not always bad.
You see, the truth that Scripture shows us is that God can actually take our brokenness and make it beautiful. Now you may be thinking, How can He take the broken realities in my life and turn it into something beautiful? Well, don’t count Him out. Remember, you’re God’s masterpiece and that’s not just a physical reality that we’re talking about; it’s a spiritual reality as well. See, brokenness is the reality that we see because of what Adam did in the garden. In Genesis chapter 3, he deliberately disobeyed God; and because of his disobedience, sin and death entered into our world. So our world became broken the moment that Adam disobeyed God; and the brokenness not only is a result of Adam’s sin, it’s also a reality that we see in our lives because we ourselves are broken. We have been broken from the time that we were conceived in our mothers’ wombs. It’s that reality that we have inherited sinfulness, and wherever sinfulness is, brokenness is present as well. But because God is holy, He is removed from the reality of sinfulness. Brokenness is something that when we surrender our lives to God can become very, very beautiful.
You see, the way God makes our brokenness beautiful is that when we come to Him after hearing the gospel and we bring all our pain, all our problems, all our brokenness to Him at the cross of Jesus Christ, He puts the “old us” to death and a “new us” is resurrected to life. Second Corinthians 5:17 clearly tells us that we who embrace Christ as our Savior, we’re a new creature. We’re a new person in Jesus Christ. The “old us” is dead and gone. A “new us” has been resurrected to life by the ministry of God the Holy Spirit because we put our trust in what Jesus Christ did for us. In addition to that, every day that we are living as this new creation, man, we’ve still got these old habits because we still live in a flesh that is still broken. But here’s the reality: God is patient, He’s loving. It’s this process that He’s walking us through—it’s called sanctification. Literally what it means is that God every day is taking us away from our sinfulness and bringing us more towards His holiness.
Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us that God is taking us from glory to glory to glory to glory. That means, as we’re growing in our relationship with Jesus, God is allowing our brokenness to become more beautiful—not only to us, but to others who look at our life and say, “Man, like,” when they look at me, they was like, “D. A. bro, you used to do this on the street, you used to be like this in school, you used to smoke this, you used to sell that, but man look at you now, bro, like man, you love God. You out there telling people the good news about Jesus. Man, how did all that happen?” And I say, “It’s because I stopped fronting like I wasn’t broken. I heard the gospel and I said, ‘Man, I’m broken. I’m shattered, and I need Jesus,’ and the moment that I admitted that I was a sinner who couldn’t save himself, I was broken and I couldn’t fix myself, and I cried out to Jesus to save me, He saved me. And from that moment on, He began to make my brokenness look beautiful.”
See, the reality of brokenness is that it’s actually producing something of value. You and I realize it every day, but maybe you just have not taken time to step back and think how brokenness is actually a positive thing in your life. You know, the food you eat, man, vegetables—all those things that we see that are planted in the ground—well, that soil had to be broken before a seed could be planted. So through the brokenness of that soil, through that seed that died and then yielded a harvest—the fruit or crops or whatever it is—we consume it, we eat it; that brokenness actually brought us life through the sustenance of the food that we eat. In addition to this, we also call when we eat “breaking bread.” We have to break the bread so we can consume it. If you take a cheeseburger from In and Out, you can’t just throw the whole thing in your mouth—some of you probably tried—but you can’t do it. It’s the reality of taking pieces and breaking that food down. Our body breaks down the food for the nourishment for our physical body.
Man, it’s the same thing that Jesus was talking about in a parable of the sower in Matthew chapter 13. He talked about how the seed that was sown is actually the Word of God, and the soil is actually the condition of human hearts. You see, three types of soils rejected the Word. One had the seed snatched away, which represents the enemy coming and taking the gospel message that was proclaimed. The Word of God that was broke down, he comes and he snatches it away so that the nonbeliever won’t believe in the message of the gospel that was proclaimed. You see, some seed fell along a path, a walkway, like a sidewalk, and it got trampled on. At first it looked like it was about to spring up some nice fruit, but it got trampled on. And Jesus said, “Man, that’s like somebody who hears the Word, and they’re like ‘Yo, I’m all in. I’m all in with Jesus. I’m all in with God and this whole church thing.’” But then all of a sudden, man, when the people start treating them differently because they’re a Christian now, they start buckling under that pressure and, guess what? It never took root, it was never genuine.
Or the third type of soil. It fell on that path and it sprung up, but the thorns and thistles came and choked it out and killed it. Well, what does that signify? Jesus says it’s the person who makes another superficial response, like, I’m all in with Jesus, but then guess what? That paper chase starts coming up and they like, Look, I got to eat. I got to do me so I can make my money. I got to do this in order to survive, and they forsake the gospel, they forget the message of the Word of God, and it never took root.
But then Jesus says, “But then there was that seed that fell on good soil.” It was broken up and it was ready to receive the seed, and guess what? It grew and it produced food—fruit if you will. That’s our heart. It is our prayer, me and your youth leaders, that your heart would be that good soil. That you would bring your heart to God and allow Him to break it so that the seed of the Word of God could be planted in your heart and bear fruit so that God can take your brokenness and turn it into something beautiful.
So as you work through this in your conversations with your leaders and your peers, work through the reality that brokenness is not a bad thing. I need to admit that I’m broken and I can’t fix myself—only Jesus can fix me. And at the same time, ask your leaders how God can continue to prepare your heart to make it good soil so that you can embrace the words of truth, embrace the words of Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to bear fruit through you so that others can say, “Man, you got to put me up on game on who this God is that made your brokenness beautiful.” And just like me, you’ll tell them, “It’s found through what Jesus did.”