There was a young girl. As a child she grew up playing make believe wedding day with a towel on her head and a handful of wildflowers. One day she would grow up and find her prince charming. She would have two kids: a boy and a girl, a dog and a cute little house in the country that was perfectly bordered with a white picket fence. She would have a perfect job, a perfect husband and perfect kids. Life would be PERFECT.
As children, it think it's normal to grow up in a world of make believe where there are no problems and life is perfect. Children have such an innocence about them. If they're lucky, they're shielded from much of the pain of this sin filled world. But what happens when you grow up with those same expectations? What happens when you expect everyone else to maintain the stigma of perfection? I feel like if we do that we set ourselves up for disappointments. Here's what the bible says about this world:
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The bible plainly states that in this world we SHALL have tribulation.
I think sometimes we idealize in our minds what it is to be a Christian. Maybe it's that we expect life to be filled with highs and never any lows. We'll marry that prince charming, we will have the perfect home, the perfect career or the perfect kids. I think if we're not careful we can fool ourselves into thinking this life is perfect. If we can fool ourselves into thinking life is perfect, perhaps we can fool ourselves into thinking WE have it all under control. If WE have it all under control, then the need for God disappears. The truth is, this life will never be perfect. We just read where it says we shall have tribulation. BUT…. what follows is simply beautiful!!! Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!!!! In the beginning part of this scripture Jesus says; these things I have spoken unto you, that in ME ye might have peace. Don't you just LOVE that? Jesus was speaking to His disciples here prophetically.
Over the last two days I feel like nothing has gone right! Do you ever have those days? I was sweeping my laundry room when I could hear a persistent dripping noise. Investigating revealed my freezer was leaking excessively, soaking the subfloor. After emptying the freezer, saying goodbye to some food, cooking what wouldn't fit in my regular freezer, we managed to push the freezer outside to allow the floor to dry up. Once it was out, we popped the tiles up, sprayed the floor to treat and prevent the spread of mold and dried it all night long with fans. It was a long night. And let's not forget that none of this ever happens when my husband is home. It always happens when he's at work! I woke up this morning to a dry floor and the moldy spots gone!! I gave myself a quick pep talk and convinced myself I knew how to lay the tile back down. It couldn't be that hard right? 🙂 After an hour the job was complete and the floor looked like new. But what was that smell? I could still smell a moldy smell in the utility room. So I switched my repair belt from that of a carpenter to one of an AC repair guy. I opened the air unit up to find that the a-coils were full of dust and you guessed it: some mold! (Ya…I totally know what a-coils are ) So after a phone call, I learn how to remedy this and I get to work. Another hour passes, the mold has been treated and the smell is gone. The a-coils are now clean and looking almost new….. and then I hear it. The sound of glass shattering in the kitchen. I'm too exhausted to get frustrated, so I just call out…. If there's broken glass in there, just back away and I'll clean it up.
I walk into the kitchen and sure enough there was a bowl shattered on the ground and a very apologetic looking 10 year old. I said, it's ok, just take the dog to your room and I'll clean it up. As I was cleaning up the glass, the chorus of a song kept bubbling up in my spirit. It is well with my soul. I found myself singing out to God. Joy started to bubble up inside of me and the brokenness of the glass start to resonate with me on a much deeper level. The broken glass could've just been a frustration. I could've snapped at my kid (maybe even understandably so) after the two days I've just had. The broken pieces could be used to cut you if you're not careful. Or the broken pieces could be used as an offering. Maybe your freezer went out. Maybe you've had car trouble or you got laid off from your job. Maybe you've lost a loved one or you're going through financial or marital problems. These are all broken places. We really only have two options. We can take the brokenness and use it to cut or hurt, or we can give it to God as an offering. God, all I have are these broken pieces. But I am yours and therefore these broken pieces are yours as well. They're part of me and I'm part of you!! When you give God every single part of your life in such an intimate way it's a beautiful thing in His sight. It's exactly like telling Him: I trust you with my whole heart; the good, the bad and the ugly. Only God can go to the broken places and refine them into a beautiful thing.
Even though this life may not be perfect like it is in the mind of a child, this life is still GOOD. Let Praise and thanksgiving always be on my lips!! It is well with my soul!!!
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
If there's one thing I wish you take away from this, just remember, with God there can always be beauty in brokenness!!