His body was broken. Literally.
We listened to the emergency room doctor as he described the state of my husband’s shoulder, which was now in too many pieces to count. One small misstep on winter’s ice and a nasty fall had shattered not only bones, but also the next few months of our lives.
Not one surgeon in our town would touch him; the breaks were too severe. After eight excruciating days of specialist visits and waiting, a trauma team finally tackled the long process of putting the pieces of Tyler’s shoulder back together again. It was a rare and risky surgery. Major muscles would be detached, nerves would be severed, and hardware would be placed in places where it simply didn’t fit. No promises for regaining use of his shoulder, arm, or hand were made.
And so we cried out to God as we waited in the storm.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s tempting to ask why in the waiting: “Why us?” “Why now?”, instead of “What do you want to grow in us, Lord?”
It’s tempting to worry in the waiting: jumping ahead to all of my uncertain tomorrows instead of trusting in the work God wants to accomplish in me today.
It’s tempting to wander in the waiting: into rebellion or my own warped version of independence, instead of resting in the complete sovereignty and sufficiency of my Savior.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
But oh, the comfort of a compassionate Savior who never leaves us – and never leaves us how He found us. In our brokenness, He began to gently show us that our need was much more deeply rooted than just physical healing. In our brokenness – our greater weaknesses now exposed through these cracked vessels – He longed to come near and lovingly put us back together more like Him than we were before.
On day one of Tyler’s rehab I wrote:
“Tears ran down my cheeks as I listened in on his rehab goals. Today I heard an independent man say out loud that he wants to lift his arm high enough to wash his hair. I heard a faithful husband voice his desire to work in our yard and fix things around the house. I heard a committed father dreaming of swimming and throwing a baseball with his boys. I heard a passionate servant say that he’d give anything to play drums again on the worship team. In the last few weeks he’s endured tremendous pain and daily limitations with hardly a complaint. Instead I’ve seen humility, bravery, gratitude, grit, and an intentional commitment to not waste this trial. For a couple of stubborn people who love self-sufficiency, order, and the pursuit of excellence, this road has certainly had its character developing moments. And maybe, just maybe… that’s exactly where God wants us. Jesus, continue to transform us to be more like You… for our good and Your glory. There’s a whole lot of hope right there. And so my tears quickly turn to joy, because resting in the sufficiency of God’s grace and power is the only place I want to be…”
What if instead of questioning we surrendered?
What if instead of worrying we trusted?
What if instead of wandering we rested?
Oh, He may very well call us to do hard things in the process. Do them with the power of Christ in you. But what if instead of just impatiently trying to fix the thing or bitterly wishing it away, we stopped and embraced the nearness and ability of Jesus? We can rest because we don’t walk this road alone. There is no one more qualified to come near and save us than the One who made us and whose body was broken for us.
When his broken journey was just beginning, Tyler’s prayer was this:
“Thank you, God, for blessing my life so abundantly. For your gift of salvation and then for never leaving nor forsaking me. I am far from perfect. Thank you for slowing me down. Thank you for providing perspective. You have already begun to reveal some of the greater purpose you have in store for me through this. Let my eyes and ears be open and my will remain humbled as I continue down this path of dependence on You.”
Whether it’s our broken bodies, our broken hearts, or our broken relationships, only in God’s economy can brokenness become so beautiful. Because Jesus made a way our brokenness can make us more aware of His presence and, by His grace, bring us one step closer to who He wants us to be.
“When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus.” – Corrie ten Boom
It’s time to rest, you broken and weary. You are not alone…
At His feet,
Let’s talk: Are you currently walking through deep waters? Let the truth in this song wash over your weary soul, and let us know in the comments how our team can pray for you today…
When I walk through deep waters, I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire, I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow, I will not fear
I am not alone, I am not alone
You will go before me, You will never leave me…
If you can’t see this video, you can view it here.
We’re in Week 1 of our Broken & Redeemed study! Grab your favorite beverage, crack open your Bible, and together let’s rejoice with the broken and redeemed of God.
We also have a corresponding kid’s Broken & Redeemed journal geared for children in elementary grades. You can grab a copy on Amazon at this location.