What do peanuts, baseball gloves, eggs, jeans, horses, and chocolate bars all have in common? They along with a multitude of other things are better, and/or more useful after they’ve been broken.
Nuts are no good until you crack the outer shell, baseball gloves work best and become easier to use after they’ve been ‘broke in’ and used a few times. Same with blue jeans. Horses are manageable, chocolate bars are easier to eat in smaller pieces and last longer, and of course eggs are best eaten without the shell.
Have you noticed that the Bible is full of broken people? Have you ever wondered why some “obscure” or seemingly insignificant stories are included? And how even the most humble, broken and sinful people are not only looked on with compassion by Jesus, but used for His glory and are remembered? The stories such as in David’s Psalms where he is brought low and in despair because of his sins against God are more comforting and have more impact than those of his exploits and life as a King.
Think about why the story of the widow and her mites is included or the tax collector who stands at the temple cash box and laments his life as a sinner, yet is remembered by God as more worthy than the rich Pharisee who exalts himself.
And then we come to the sinful woman, who breaks the fragrance of the alabaster box and anointed the Lord’s head with it. As the more ‘important’ men at the gathering derided her for being wasteful, Jesus’s reply is worth looking at-“ She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
Did you catch that last part? “…shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
What can we learn from these examples? Probably more than we think if we really take time to meditate on them. As mentioned already that God uses the brokenness of people to inspire, but also for His purposes to further His work in others. It helps us when we realize that others have had sinful pasts, to put our own into a right perspective, but it also helps to know that through brokenness, it’s painful, but ultimately it moves us closer to being what God created us to be. While God can use anyone no matter how powerful they are, only through brokenness can we be used for His glory and counted as something to be honored by Him.
Oh, and the lady with the alabaster box? Not only did she anoint the Lord in preparation for His sacrifice, but also in breaking it as humbly as she did, she was pouring out her own fragrance in offering to the Lord. When we pour out our sin and pride to Him, to Him, it’s the most priceless fragrance we can offer.
I’ll admit it’s not fun to be broken. It hurts. A lot.
But to offer the broken part of me, for His sake, it makes it more bearable, knowing He loves us especially when we are broken.
As Matthew West sings in his song “Broken Things”
Grace is a Kingdom, with gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table, just waiting for you
So come on inside….