Unless you live a life of perpetual confusion here in America, you know that this upcoming weekend is Christmas. Christmas is a time that many people spend with family and friends. We eat good food (and sometimes bad food that we say is good because of traditions), share gifts, and sing Christmas carols. But this time of year is hard for a lot of people. Because of broken relationships, broken families, or simply broken lives, many are relegated to loneliness, heartbreak, anger, and sadness.
And for me, I have felt very broken this year.
I am not writing this to get the collective pity party “awwww” from my readers. I have a point to all of this. I promise.
This year my business hit a speed bump. That is what I am calling it because speed bumps simply cause us to slow down, not stop. But because of the speed bump, I have had to take a second full-time job. This second job requires a lot of travel, where my business was working out of my home.
Also this year I have had a lot of health problems, almost all of them resulting from blown discs in my lower back. I had surgery in May and just had surgery this week again, resulting in a Christmas that will have me dressed in sweat pants and comfortable clothing, perfect for those big Christmas dinners.
My life isn’t broken, looking at the tough lives of so many other people out there. But it is broken.
And so is yours.
It wasn’t until I was talking to some of the leaders at church that I realized that I was prideful and foolish. When I had surgery back in May I kept much of it to myself. I believed I was the typical guy, can just rebound and I’d be fine. I didn’t need anyone.
But I was wrong.
As I stand before you, I see who I am: a man who needs to confess his pride and foolishness.
Against you only I have sinned,
I’ve done what’s evil in your sight and my heart is crumbling.
- Altar Boys, “Broken”
This time around I spoke to as many elders and pastors as I could. The result is different. Friends showed up at the hospital to go through this with me. The elders/pastors laid hands on me and prayed. Several people reached out to me afterward to make sure I was ok.
Even though my body is still broken (but healing), being able to go through this with an army behind me that was placed there by God was much more comforting. Sometimes God chooses to reach down and heal us outright. Before you think I am off my rocker, I have seen it first-hand. I’ve seen people healed as we followed Biblical guidelines for healing. Sometimes we need to go through our pain as a consequence of our actions. For me, this second surgery this year is because I didn’t listen to the doctor. Less than a week after surgery in May I was out cutting the grass, building a shed, and hanging a tile splash guard in the kitchen. I wasn’t exactly resting like my doctor told me to do.
Won’t you hear my cry, God?
See this state I’m in,
I know my transgressions are before me, my righteousness is rags,
And my sacrifice to you is this broken heart,
It’s all that I have, it’s all I can give, and it won’t go very far
- Altar Boys “Broken”
People, have you made some bad choices?
We all have.
And now, I am specifically speaking to Christians. Have you felt that you have let God down? That your righteousness is in rags? That you can’t go another day in this life without a physical intervention from God?
Then Christmas is for you.
Christmas is the perfect definition of grace. God sent His Son to live a sinless life and take the judgment we deserve for our sin. You don’t have to be good before coming to Christ.
Let me repeat that.
You DON’T have to be good before coming to Christ.
Christ did not come to make bad people good.
You are much more important to God than simply making you good.
Christ came to make dead people live.
And I’m broken, broken,
To see myself as I really am: a weak, broken man,
And I’m broken, broken,
Please heal this broken heart today,
Don’t turn it away, no, ‘cause it’s broken.
- Altar Boys “Broken”
The good comes later. Even if you are already a Christian and have slipped, stumbled, or fallen away. God STILL loves you. Last week’s post on Laodicea proves that!
So just like the doctor takes me in my broken state to help put me back together again, God will take you in your dead state to bring you back to life again. And after you come back to life, you will naturally find your heart changing. You will see your life moving from bad to good. Not because you feel you have to, but because the love you have for God is so immense that you just want to be the best you can be for Him.
It like falling in love with someone. You find yourself doing the things they want because you love them so much.
So remember, when God changes you from dead to alive, you will begin to move from bad to good. And in changing and moving, you will find your brokenness going away.