Monthly Archives: May 2014

BROKEN YET CONNECTED

As I was sitting on my patio the other morning, basking in the goodness and beauty of God as Spring was bursting forth, I noticed a large broken branch in a huge Maple tree behind the house. The ravages of recent storms had partially broken that branch, but it was still connected to the main limb, hanging down at a 90 degree angle … yet it was starting to put out leaves in anticipation of the Spring growth.

The LORD reminded me that branch represents our lives… broken but connected.

Broken by sin… yet when we accept His redeeming Love… when we accept His work on the Cross on our behalf, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of His dear Son. Yet we may continue to hold on to our old ways… we may not know how to allow the renewal of the Holy Spirit free us from those things of our past, allowing healing to transform us from brokenness to wholeness.

Not just our past, but even our present. Life intervenes and we can be broken by others… by harsh words from a loved one…a dear friend. We can be broken by loss – the loss of a loved one… the loss of friendship… the loss of a job.

There is no end to what the enemy will bring into our lives that can lead to brokenness.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS:

HE IS THE VINE AND WE ARE THE BRANCHES (John 15:5). Jesus said that IF we abide (LIVE) in Him and He is IN us, then we will bring forth much fruit. Without HIM we can do nothing.

Just as that tree limb is still bearing leaves because it is attached to the source of life, so we too can bear fruit for the Kingdom of God as we live in HIM. As the Apostle Paul said: In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28), echoing Jesus’ words of John 15!

Without Him we can do nothing.

Is there brokenness in your life today?

Have you been injured by someone close to you… harsh words spoken in anger? Have you spoken harsh words in anger to someone? Apologize! Jesus said that if you have ANYTHING against anyone, YOU forgive! (Mark 11:25). He didn’t say that if they really hurt you then you don’t have to forgive. He didn’t say if what they said was really bad then you don’t have to forgive. He said: IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING (the King James says ‘ought’… and ‘ought’ can be just a little smidgen!) AGAINST ANYONE, FORGIVE! There are reasons we must forgive: so our prayers will be answered… so God will forgive US of our sins. (Mark 11:25-26:” …and when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Those 2 verses alone should bring every one of us to our knees forgiving and being forgiven!)

Another Scripture that admonishes us to FORGIVE is found in Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has ought against you, leave your gift before the altar and go your way; FIRST be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift….” Jesus is saying that it is up to YOU to apologize. Couple that with Mark 11:25-26 and you can see why. Jesus does not want us to be broken by anger… He does not want us to be broken from our fellowship with Him. He is the Bless-er and He wants to bless us, but as long as we are broken by hurt and anger, those blessings are in abeyance.

Perhaps you have been broken by sin – repent!  Don’t let some plot and ploy of the enemy separate you from fruit-bearing for the Kingdom.

Or broken by grief. Grief can break us in ways no one can ever understand. Our world seems to collapse. Nothing seems ‘right’ any longer. But God understands grief in ways WE could NEVER understand – think of Calvary… think of what God experienced when His sinless, spotless Son was nailed to that tree, taking on the sin of the entire world… that because He is the One
True, PERFECT Creator God, He had to turn His back on His only begotten Son… the depths of grief He experienced we can never know. Because He knows what grief is, He does NOT want us to stay in grief… He does NOT want us to mourn forever. Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness…”

In Isaiah 61:1-3, in prophesying about Jesus, the Prophet writes: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meet; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, the He might be glorified.”  (And Jesus preached to the synagogue in Nazareth the first part of that Scripture from Isaiah (see Luke 4:18-19)

In Ecclesiastes God tells us that there IS a time to mourn… but that is followed by “…a time to dance….” (Ecclesiastes 3:4: “A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”) God understands our grief/mourning… but He does not intend for us to stay there, as that will  pull us down, turning inward in our grief, and away from God’s blessings and His using us for His Kingdom purposes!

You might want to argue that Jesus preached that those who mourn are blessed and comforted. (Matthew 5:4). He will comfort us when we mourn… but He will also bless us and bring us out of the darkness so that grief and mourning can’t envelope us. He understands our grief… He understands our mourning. But He has something better for us: Joy, Gladness, Dancing before Him!

There are many other Scriptures concerning brokenness, but one we must always remember: we are not to be like broken cisterns. Jeremiah 2:13: “”For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the Fountain of Living Waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” The LORD calls us to remain connected! Do not allow our brokenness to separate us from the Source of Living Water, for then we are like broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Just as that tree limb remains connected to its source of life, we too must always remain connected to our Source of Life! There have been several severe storms that have blown through this area, but that limb remains connected! BUT if it is ever severed from the main branch, it will die. Every tie there is a bad wind storm, I always check that limb… it’s still there – leafing out in all its glory to welcome LIFE!

Right now, allow the LORD to begin healing the brokenness in your life. Roll the care of whatever it is that is holding you back from serving Him with all your being over on Jesus, because He cares for you! Forgive, Dance before the LORD; remember that Jesus left us with His Joy, and the Joy of the LORD is our strength! He is MORE than able to bring wholeness from our brokenness, as we remain connected to the Vine!

I thank the LORD that He continues to lead, guide, direct and teach us everyday, even with broken tree limbs in my backyard!