This morning I headed out the door to attend a bridal shower, a wrapped gift in hand. As I stepped out towards the sidewalk, the gift packaging in my hand broke loose and the gift went crashing onto the cement below. I knew instantly that the gift, a ceramic casserole set, was destroyed. Shattering sounds and slivers of brokenness confirmed this. After a moment of deep disappointment, all I could do was scoop up the pieces, leave them in the house, and drive to the store to purchase another one on my way to the shower.
None of us plans our brokenness. If we had our way, there would be no such thing as brokenness. Our journey in life would always be neat and tidy – not littered with the evidences of shattered lives and broken dreams. But we do not get to choose when and how brokenness enters our lives. No one asks us when we would like to put cancer on our calendars or divorce in our daily routine. Sorrow unexpectedly knocks on our door and we are compelled to bid it enter, against our wishes.
So what do we do with this unexpected brokenness? Get angry? Kick and scream? The ceramic shards I scooped up this morning were accompanied by frustration and a few tears. I didn’t need that today. But my anger did nothing to fix the brokenness. No amount of anger, no amount of grasping for control, will make the brokenness go away. Instead, we need to accept the plan and trust the divine Hand that brings the brokenness into our lives. We must trust a sovereign God who has our ultimate good in mind, even when it doesn’t look like it.
I memorized a poem as a young teen girl that came to mind today for the first time in several years. I share it here for those of you who are picking up the pieces of brokenness in your lives, perhaps even today.
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How could you be so slow”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.”
– Author Unknown