One particularly crisp morning, the hay fields that had filled with water like lakes, and the ditches that had brimmed with runoff, were suddenly all frozen solid again, covering the countryside like a hundred free-range ice rinks. With the freeze and thaw and freeze of spring though, mini ruptures speckled the otherwise smooth landscape, making it look more like an icy, pockmarked moon.
As I drove by, sun glinted off of the ice, but not the way I expected.
The portions that shone the brightest were not those smooth, flat expanses, but instead those edges and pieces where pressure had broken the ice. White shards spiked out at wild angles in places, reflecting the sun more brightly on those sharp edges than on all the glass-smooth parts.
Those broken edges reflected light the best.
Isn't that a lot like us? Our own brokenness doesn't prevent us from reflecting Christ's light like we feel it will. Often it's the crazy angles and spiked shards that somehow allow Jesus to best be seen - even better than in all the smoothness of our ease and comfort.
Difficulty and pain and sorrow are, I believe, a gift. It's not a fun one or a pleasant one, but one I'm still thankful for. Pain has taught me so much. Like compassion for those in pain. Or how to trust God even when what is happening is absolutely not what I signed up for. Or how to give myself grace for the journey - even the parts when I'm broken and failing. Without the gift of brokenness, I would be convinced that smooth sailing is what I deserve, that everyone should have ease and, if they don't, they're obviously doing something wrong, and I'd trust God a lot less. I would need Him a lot less. I'd be good enough.
But He is merciful enough to grow me in compassion, humility, and dependence on Him.
Even if the only way to do that is to suffer a little, He loves me enough to walk me through that hard lesson, and He does it with immense grace, gentleness, and patience, too, NEVER leaving me alone in it.
What a great and loving God!
Don't be afraid of your broken edges.
These are the very things that will shine His glory the brightest.
Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.
2 Corinthians 4:17,18