Broken or not Broken?

Time and again you hear ROADSHOW appraisers talking about the condition of a piece brought in to be appraised. We sometimes note the scarcity of a piece in mint condition, how refinishing a piece of furniture affects the value, what a chip on a piece of porcelain does to its desirability in the eyes of collectors. Is it worth more broken? That depends on who you are asking. For a seasoned and dedicated collector, no. But for the person who was thrilled to inherit Aunt Millie’s vase, cracks or no cracks, it is probably priceless.
No one enjoys being broken emotionally, physically, or spiritually. It is difficult to understand how strength and blessing are the end results of brokenness, but they are-just as we seldom recognize the goodness of brokenness in the heat of suffering.
Have you ever caught yourself wishing things were like they were in the “good old days?” Most of us have. However, the truth is if we had a chance to travel back to another time, we would find that the same problems and trials we now face existed then, only in a varying form. Trials come no matter who you are or what you do in life.
In desperation to gain control of our circumstances, we tell ourselves we can make it through any difficulty. We hide our inner feelings and pray God will strengthen us. Instead of letting go of our pride and self-strength, we convince ourselves to hold on as waves of suffering pass over us. The darkness lingers; the pain increases; and the disappointment goes on and on.
Paul faced discouragement, but he knew God was in control and placed his hope and faith in Jesus Christ. “. . . [W]e are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (4:8-10).

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