The Beauty in Brokenness


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.  To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.  They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.  They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. (Isa. 61:1-4)

I have been through my share of brokenness in life.  I don’t love it.  During seasons of feeling broken, I tend to feel a lot of other things as well.  I may feel ashamed for not having it all together.  I might feel disqualified from my purpose.  I might feel like damaged goods.  All of the things I just described, I have needed to work through at one point or another.  This week though, God has been highlighting to me the beauty in our brokenness.  The situation may not be beautiful.  The mess may not be beautiful.  But there can be something beautiful birthed in our brokenness, if we will submit to God’s process.

In his book The Power that Changes the World, Bill Johnson writes about the ones that rebuild the ancient ruins described in Isaiah 61:4.  He points out the “who” in that verse.  Who rebuilds the ancient ruins?  Who repairs the cities destroyed?  Who revives them?   The brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, the mourning, and those who are suffering through loss.  As Bill Johnson writes, “It is in God’s heart to restore the broken so completely on every level that they become contributors to society in fresh in new ways.  It is in his heart for them actually to become part of the team He has called to rebuild cities to their place of intended glory.”  Incredible.

When I stop to consider that such a Holy, righteous and perfect God, would use broken people to accomplish His purposes, my heart is overwhelmed with love and gratitude.    As I have heard from others, “God never wastes a hurt.”  It’s not perfect people that God is looking to use.  It is those that run to the Lord in their brokenness, leaning into His comfort, freedom and favor.  It is the desire of his heart to heal the broken and to unleash them on their cities that they may act as agents of restoration, rebuilding and reviving hearts and communities that have been destroyed and deserted long ago.

God doesn’t despise our brokenness, He uses it.  Instead of hiding and covering our brokenness, let’s take it to the one who restores us that we may be used to restore others.  It’s time to rebuild ancient ruins.

Theresa Flood