Every so often we will sing the song "Holiness" in youth group. If you aren't familiar with it the lyrics basically say Holiness is what we long for, need and what God wants from us. It goes on to ask God to take our hearts, minds and wills and conform them into God's own. It's a great melody but sometimes I wonder how much I really mean the words when I sing them. Especially when we start changing that one word "Holiness" into others. Faithfulness isn't so hard, righteousness okay but brokenness...I don't like that one so much.
I've been thinking about what it means to ask God to "break" me. To rid me of things that I am clinging to and to fill me with things that God desires for me. When I hear of something being broken, my first association is pain. I don't like pain. I will go out of my way to avoid pain or actions that will lead to pain. I don't like to see other people in pain. Probably why I'm not the best person to be visiting people in hospitals.
Being broken also means that things change. As much as I would like to believe that I am so okay with change, it scares me. I can be flexible but only up to a certain point and then, well, my stubbornness really sets in! It's not all bad but certainly, to be broken means that things are going to move outside of my comfort zone into places where I don't necessarily want to go and that, my friends, is bad.
But being broken can also mean healing, renewal and new life. I was with some friends the other day that I haven't seen in awhile. As we were talking and sharing about life, I noticed that something had changed about one person. Their whole demeanour was different. As they spoke about what was going on in their life I realized that this person was in the process of being broken by God. It wasn't pretty, I could tell that beneath the surface there was a huge struggle going on. A struggle between what God wants and what my friend wants. A struggle between their way and God's way. It's emotionally overwhelming and physically draining but in the end, a new person emerges and new life begins.
I don't think that I will ever really long for brokenness and yet I know that it is in the broken places, in the moments where pain and God meet that I have experienced the deepest growth and change. It's truly where my heart, mind and will were all formed, transformed and conformed by God.
Praying for my friend in their brokenness.