Today’s Reading: John 12:20-50 (additional reading: Psalm 118:19-29 & Proverbs 15:27-28)
All of us will face situations that cause us to wonder how in the world we will make it through the experience. Tommy Lasorda, former coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, once said, “I found that it’s not good to talk about my troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear them don’t care, and the other 20 percent are glad you’re having trouble.” “I learned during my year out of coaching that, regardless of what business you’re in, you’re going to have problems. How you deal with them is what counts. You don’t turn your back on them.” – Dan Reeves
God uses Broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to produce rain, broken grain to give bread and broken bread to give strength. It was a broken perfume box that gave off a fragrance one day in the life of Jesus. It was a broken apostle Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power and effectiveness than he ever could have imagined. Brokenness is the surrender of our heart, mind and body to Christ.
Dwight Moody said that one of the happiest men he ever knew was a man Dundee, Scotland, who had fallen and broken his back when a boy of fifteen. He had lain on his bed for forth years and could not be moved without a good deal of pain. Probably not a day had passed in all those years without acute suffering. But day after day the grace of God had been granted him, and when Mr. Moody was in his room it seemed as if he was as near heaven as he could get on earth. When Mr. Moody saw him, he thought he must be beyond the reach of the tempter, and he asked him, “Doesn’t Satan ever tempt you to doubt God and to think that He is an unfair Master?” “Oh yes,” he replied, “ he does try to tempt me. I lie here and seem my old classmates driving along, and Satan says, ‘if God is so good why has he kept you here all these years? You might have been a rich man. Then I see a man, who was young when I was, walk by in perfect health, and Satan, whispers, ‘if God loved you, couldn’t He have kept you from breaking your back?’” “ And what do you do when you are tempted to feel like that?” Ah I just take him to the cross and I show him Christ, and I point out the wounds in His hands and feet and side, and say, ‘Doesn’t He love me?’ The fact was that this bedridden man had found a way to be full of the grace of God.
It is not unusual for people who go through great times of brokenness and suffering to find that they are closer to God than they have been in years.