by Fran Caffey Sandin
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12: 1 NIV
October’s birthstone is the opal. Light appears to emanate from the lovely gem when internal spacing of silica spheres, like broken chains, cause the diffraction of light to enhance various colors. In other words, the tiny open spaces inside the stone project a beautiful image.
This reminds me of broken things in the Bible that shine for God’s glory.
BROKEN JARS (Judges 7) The Lord directed Gideon to take 300 men to save the Israelites from the numerous Midianites. Gideon gave all the men trumpets and empty jars with torches inside them. When commanded, the men simultaneously blew their trumpets, smashed the jars, and with torches aflame, shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” The Midianites became confused, turned on each other with their swords, killing their own, and many ran away crying as they fled. The light within the jars could not be seen until those jars were broken.
BROKEN ALABASTER JAR (Mark 14: 1-9) Jesus was in Bethany two days before the Passover when the chief priests were secretly plotting to arrest and kill Him. While Jesus was in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head. Some guests were complaining that she had done a wasteful thing, but Jesus said, “She has done a beautiful thing. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. What she has done will be told in memory of her.” The scent from the oil only could be smelled until after the jar was broken.
BROKEN BODY (I Corinthians 11: 24) On the night Jesus was betrayed, He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus gave himself so that all who believe in Him will be saved. His body was broken to redeem us from our sin.
BROKEN WILL (Psalm 51: 17) The Psalmist, David, reminds us that “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” He did not come to God for forgiveness until his spirit was broken, revealing the sin within his heart.
As a young wife and mother attending an evangelistic meeting, my heart was broken when I realized the wickedness of my sin. Although a church member for many years, I opened my spiritual eyes for the first time to see that my “righteousness” was like filthy rags in God’s sight. I had all of Jesus, but He did not have all of me.
I confessed my strong will and submitted my heart to Jesus. His sacrificial love on the cross caused me to give myself to him wholeheartedly. I visualized myself lying on an altar and said, “Jesus, I am yours–body, soul, and spirit. Take me and use me for Your glory.” I had a new hunger for the Bible and could not stop singing God’s praises. The hymns I learned in my youth had a new and deeper meaning. I felt renewed!
Through years of both happiness and heartache, failures and successes, the Holy Spirit has emboldened me with supernatural peace and joy. Even when I have been broken-hearted or discouraged, I remember…He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Fran Sandin is a retired nurse, organist, mother, and grandmother living in Greenville, Texas. She and her husband, Jim, have traveled to many countries and states. Her latest book, Hope on the Way, Devotions to Go– contains 52 devotionals for those who love to combine faith and adventure. Visit her website to order with a click on the home page fransandin.com. Hope on the Way has been nominated by Joy and Company in Arlington, Texas, for the Henri Award (for outstanding Christian Literature) both in the Devotional and Christian Living sections.
Join the conversation: How important has brokenness been in your life?