Book Excerpt 2
We were at a point of brokenness. We had hopes that this would all go away even after the initial tests. We thought we would pray, believe, and get the results we wanted. However, after weeks of ‘no’ from God, we finally arrived at the breaking point. At this point, we finally realized our plans and God’s were very different. We came to the grips that we were in a race. We raced not in a sprint but in a marathon. Now, many years into the race and as a senior pastor I have come to grips that God allows everyone to sink to the breaking point. To some it comes early in life and to others, it comes much later. However, it is to our benefit spiritually and naturally to see this breaking point. This point is where you realize you cannot possibly see victory on your own and you must have the help of another entity to survive much less thrive.
The point of writing this book is to simply tell my story of breaking, healing, restoration, and blessing. By showing lessons we learned along the journey, we pray you are encouraged as you work through brokenness in your own life. I see clearly now the reason for the path of our brokenness and why it was essential. Its essentiality was not for me, but it was for God’s kingdom to be established on the earth. His kingdom is not established in castles, temples, or government structures. The Kingdom of God is being established in the hearts of human beings. The writer of Corinthians says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” I Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)
Therefore, human beings as God’s temple or house must be prepared, and God set up the world so that our preparation most always happens through the weakness of our situations. He takes situations that look beyond repair because of a broken world of sin and turns it out for his good. Corinthians also states, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV) Only a God with all power has this uncanny ability to turn nasty into beautiful perfection. All the while He redefines our thoughts of what beauty really is.
From birth, humans are conditioned to define beauty according to their cultural surroundings. Our parents, teachers, friends, media, government, and entertainment industry slowly saturate us with what looks good, what sounds right, and does not have value. What we watch on television, read online, or see in the paper constantly shape our standards. Commercials pace our spending habits. The problem that we face as Christians is that the messages conveyed by these sources most times directly oppose the message of Christ. Americans are told that success and money are directly linked with no possibility of separation. Our skin must be clear, tight, not too dark or too light. Our height and weight determine how people treat us in friendships and commerce. We must be producers to be valued by society. Most Americans attempt to produce much, earn an income, spend money on status symbols all in a feeble effort to earn the respect of someone that is focused on themselves too much to notice.
When we hit a breaking point, we are forced to reevaluate everything. At this point, we are not happy and everything that has produced happiness or power in our life lay impotently on the sidelines of our dilapidated spirit. Breaking points take many people to the point of being hopeless and scared. The breaking point often involves the reduction or elimination of your most valued asset, whether that is a divorce, bankruptcy, personal health condition, or loss of a child. There is a physical, mental, and emotional cost always associated with it or it is not your breaking point it is simply a bad week.
We read in the Bible character after character facing their breaking points. Abraham had a breaking point when God asked for his only son . Job reaches the breaking point when he lost all his possessions and family . King David breaks down when his own kids are destroying each other and rebelling against the kingdom . The apostle Paul prays feverishly for a ‘thorn in the flesh’ to pass from him . For centuries Christians have admired men and women from the Bible. We often admonish their faith and their miracles, but we forget to recognize the pain that birthed the miracle. Pain and brokenness preceded the manifestation of God in their lives. The most glorious day in history was the day Jesus Christ voluntarily walked into his breaking point. The day he faced abuse, ridicule, physical torture, and death on the cross, he purchased our lives from the debt of sin.