By Brittany Allen
Originally Published in Be Still Magazine, Issue 4
We are a broken people, am I right?
Each of us come from various backgrounds and upbringings that shape our character and struggles. We have been broken by others, broken by this world and are undeniably broken at the core of our being. For the Christian, we may have trouble reconciling with the “whys” of our heartbreaks.
did God allow that?
Why do I struggle against this sin?
Why won’t he just take this pain away?
I myself have wrestled, and sometimes still do, with these very questions. At times they have come from my lips in a humble request for understanding. But many times, my “why” has been spoken with tears on my cheeks and anger in my heart.
In my walk with the Lord, I have learned that he uses our brokenness in stunning ways. He does this not only in our own life but also in the lives of others and to show the world his gospel story.
Broken by Others and the World
Many of you have had a rough life. Whether your childhood was filled with sorrow or you’ve constantly faced trials in adulthood, I know there are some out there with scars deeper than the Grand Canyon. Did you know that not only can God heal your heart, but he can also use the tragedies of your life for good? That he will use them for good? I know because my life has been an example of that.
Because of sin, we will experience pain and loss. It’s inevitable. People will hurt us. Sometimes in very grievous ways. God never promised that our lives would be easy, but if we are his, he does promise to use our pain for our good and his glory.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
One of the biggest ways a Christian can share the gospel is through sharing their story. The believer’s testimony of what God has done in their life is necessary to spread the good news.
When a person has every “earthly right” to hold onto bitterness against the person who abused them, and yet stands willing and ready to forgive that person, a light is shone on Christ. When a child grows up in the foster system and experiences heartbreak after heartbreak and then uses their adult life to care for orphans, God is seen.
When the Son of God willingly walks the road to Calvary carrying the cross we deserve and dies a horrible death on our behalf, “even while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) and then is raised to life, the gospel is victorious.
You see, often times it is through great suffering that God produces life abundant.
Your testimony, your childhood, your experiences will be used to glorify him and encourage others. Allow God to use your life to bring hope to his people.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
Broken at Our Core
Let’s be frank. We are straight up sinful. There is no denying it. And a lot of times we break ourselves and cause our own pain by our actions.
I’ll never forget the first time I recognized why God had allowed me to travel the path I did before he saved me. I was looking into the face of a crying teenager who was revealing to me the manipulating and abusive actions of her boyfriend. Because I had been in her spot only years before, I was able to minister to her like no one else could in that moment. I was able to key in on lies she was believing and truths she needed to hear. I was able to genuinely empathize with her. I remember thinking, this is why God allowed me to experience that. So he can use me to warn and help others.
Another way he uses our sin is in our struggles. We all have sins we are prone to. Sometimes those battles feel exhausting. We can often feel alone in our struggle. But we are not.
There are many people who have the same draw toward whatever sin it is you may face. Whether it’s lust, anxiety, anger—no sin is uncommon to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). God can and will use you even in the midst of your wrestling match with sin. He will use what you’ve learned in other’s lives. This is why it’s so important to be open with fellow believers about our failures.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:16
God will also use your brokenness to grow you in Christ and also bring you closer to him.
I battle severe anxiety. I have often wondered if I’ll ever be “normal.” But God has used my anxiety to draw me closer to himself and cause me to rely solely on him. He could be using your brokenness to do the same. This is a gracious thing! The God of the universe loves us enough to draw us—sinful humans—near to his holy heart. Friends, that’s truly amazing!
I pray you’d answer the call of his drawing. I pray you’d grow in your trust that he is good even when your life is filled with bad. He is working in the brokenness. He doesn’t tire, and he doesn’t tarry. He is for you and he is faithful.