~ Sue. C. Boynton
Lord, let me learn from this old tree
that there is dignity in loneliness,
Beauty in broken branches,
Strength in twisted, storm-beaten torso.
Help me to see that underneath
If roots go deep enough
No storms can wreck the life
that from them reaches to the sky.
Help me to remember the important thing,
Where God has placed me.
Sometimes I want to run. Withdraw. Flee to email, a book, a conversation, a task. Anything
but stay and deal with the uncomfortable. It is hard to tarry and linger when God chastens. Much of me is breaking for Him. It hurts. My self must fall away so I can abide more fully in Him.
Lately my Heavenly Father has been showing me part of my character that is sin. Another part. He is exposing a spirit of criticism that rears its head within me. When I see it from His eyes, I see its ugliness, the damage it causes, and the source from which it comes. I know He prunes the branches in my life that bear no fruit and this is one. It deters the work He wants to do in me and through me. Sometimes I run from Him or buck against His discipline. Sometimes I even complain.
I am learning though.
This time, I yield to him. I am saddened by the sin I see in me. I grieve with Him. I confess it, and feel His love flood through me. I look for the good, the beautiful that He created within the other. Why do I pause and dwell on such a little, petty thing?
I am a broken one, a bruised one. Sometimes my eyes are on my smallness, not His greatness. He calls us to abide in Him. His soft and gentle voice whispers into my heart.
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it that it may bear more fruit....Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me."
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15: 2,4 NASV
For His glory, God must have broken things. He has promised that a bruised reed, He will not break and a smoldering wick, He will not snuff out. God accepts broken and contrite hearts.
God knows it hurts. He asks us to press in, to weather the storm. Our eyes must be on Him. He is our refuge, our redeemer, and our rock in times of trial. He is there. He will never leave or forsake us. We can not run from the pain or we will never know it's glory. We must feel the pain and allow it to work in us.
When a woman gives birth, she learns to use the pain to bring the baby down. By embracing the pain, working through it, new life is brought forth.
So it is with trial, discipline, and God's chastening work in our lives.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained up by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb that is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12: 11-13 NASV
Jesus was broken too. Pierced and bloodied, bruised and beaten. He hurt.
Although He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation. Hebrews 5: 8-9 NASV
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman wisely shares in her entry for October 15 in Streams in the Desert:
And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn
and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God's glory.
So we take courage, all of us who are broken. We seek our Heavenly Father. Abide in Him and wait upon Him. One day our brokenness will yield a crop of righteousness. He has promised.