Friday, June 1, 2012
I Break It, God Fixes It
I read the following words from Oswald Chambers this morning:
“It is a revelation of pure joyousness in which the child of God pours into the Father’s bosom the cares which give pain and anxiety that He may solve the difficulties…and we just stay before Him with our broken treasures or our pain and watch Him mend or heal in such a way that we understand Him better.” Oswald Chambers, from Prayer, A Holy Occupation
How often have we thought, “I got myself into this mess, argument, conflict, point of tension, dysfunction--I will get myself out?” No. That is not how it works if we are children of the Triune Father. We sin, of our own fleshly volition. That is our part. God’s part is to heal, to make clean, to create in us a new heart, where new words--and quietness--replace the words or actions that emanated from a fleshly heart. We sin; God cleans up the mess.
But that feels weird; like we shouldn’t ask God to help us when He has in no way been complicit in our failure. It completely goes against reason and humanism. We are told things from a very young age: “You made your bed, now you have to lie in it;” “You made a mess, you clean it up;” “You broke it, you buy it.” Yes, if dealing with literal beds, kitchens and gift store trinkets! But when I think of, in the lyrics of Dave Matthews, the “trail of busted stuff” I’ve left behind in life, and the stuff I continue to bust while on the trail, I know I can’t fix it. I can prevent the breakage over time by being in God’s Word, praying and hanging out with Christians who are doing the same. But in the process, God is a God of healing and making right. And I’ve never been able to right anything that I’ve messed up without Him.
The good thing about God is that He can teach us through encouragement, loving conviction and consequences, how not to walk the path. He can transform and mature us into people who do rightly walk His path. That’s the beauty and excitement of turning to God in utmost humility, admitting we can’t fix our flaws or our situations on our own. We must look to God for the answer on how to stop repeating the same mistakes. He will perform the miraculous in us and in our situations when we truly let Him. Only then will we know what we are to do, how we are to act, and what we are to say, or not say, going forward.
As I always say, “How can I fix me if I am the problem?” And I certainly cannot fix or change anyone around me. They, too, must seek the Lord for their maturity and growth. And if they aren’t doing that, we must go to the Lord in prayer for them, just as we go to the Lord in prayer for our own depraved selves: in humility and gratefulness for all He promises to do when we agree that His ways are best.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25