Broken I run to You

What a privilege to start a new week by sharing life with my colleagues at Grace Ministries International. That all of us can sit and share openly about our lives. Tears were shared. Laughs were laughed. Prayers were exchanged. Life is messy. Spiritual life is often very messy. No simple solutions and answers will satisfy the deepest of our questions. And yet everything is extremely simple. But hard to accept.

It’s a thing of beauty when we come together and share openly. Without excuses, explanations, promises or any other fig leafs. When we encounter each other from the nakedness that we were meant to always live in. The unashamed nakedness that says: “this is what’s going on in my life”. The place we can experience where we don’t have to hide, but where we – as God’s broken cup family – can pour out our hearts to each other and feel safe in knowing that I am neither capable of fixing my own cup and mess nor somebody else’s. All we can do is with a doubting, shaking finger point each other in the direction of Jesus Christ. He is the only hope for all of us. I am not the hope for anybody. I have many people asking me questions about spiritual life. And more and more often I get to say the most freeing words possible: “I don’t know, but I know God knows”. I don’t have to know. I thought I did. 30 years were spent trying to save myself and other people. I was a very poor excuse for a Savior. It was never my job. But I thought it was. I saw God as incompetent and weak, and I saw myself as the most competent person around, so obviously it fell on my plate to fix myself and others. I only managed – as is always the case when we created beings try to fix another created being – to make a big mess out of all of it. Because I didn’t have the power. I prayed for the power, and God said no. The power is his. He doesn’t want to share his power with us. His desire is to display his power through us. Through our cracks. Through our weaknesses. Through the mess we make.

Without my questions, struggles, failures and weaknesses, God’s light couldn’t shine through me. All people would see if I lived a perfect life would be me. They would admire me and put me on a pedestal. But that’s not God’s desire for my life. And, at the end of the day, it’s not my desire either. Not the real me. The real me, at times very well hidden deep in my spirit, wants to bring God glory. The real me wants to be the earthen vessel that God can do his work through. The real me rejoices when God does miracles through me, because I get to experience God’s power at work.

So this remains the journey of brokenness. Embracing myself when I stumble and fail. Accepting that I will always have unanswered questions. Understanding that God doesn’t have to answer all my why-questions. My experience tells me that he seldom answers those. Living with the fact that I don’t have it all together and being humble enough to rejoice in the fact that God loves me and does work through me in light of all my weaknesses and failures. Not just in spite of them.

The journey of brokenness for me seems like a long journey. People talk about a short season of brokenness in their lives. That may be true that they experienced intense brokenness for a shorter period of time. But still, brokenness remains a life long journey. My human will is strong, and it’s so tempting for me to listen to my flesh, elevate myself to a position and seek to have my needs for love, acceptance, worth and security met my way. I did it my way, Frank Sinatra sings. The Bible calls that flesh, and it says – and rightly so – that it will lead to death (Romans 6:23). Death in my relationship to God, myself and other people. When I do things my way and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil instead of resting and eating from the tree of life, I will always experience this death and this felt separation from God, other people and even myself. I end up feeling out of touch with my real self inside of me.

So, God, once again I ask you to be the courage and strength in me that causes me to stand and accept what you’re doing and not running away from you and your ways. You know that the real me wants what you want, but my flesh and my wounded emotions tell me to take a hike and do things my way for my sake. I ask you to continue this breaking process. I don’t say this easily, because I know how much it hurts. But I also know the life it brings to me, and even to other people around me, when I rest in my broken state of being and allow you to be all I need in me and through me. So I ask you to continue to break me and to never give me more success and a higher position than I can handle. I want to live in the honest humility of knowing who I am in you. The humility of freely saying: I am the disciple Jesus loves! Nothing more. Nothing less.

Thanks that you embrace me in my messiness. If I had to have it all together before I could encounter you, it would never happen. Thank you that you love me on days of great celebration and rejoicing and of days of great self-pity and much complaining.

This is my life. This is my sacrifice to you. I thank you that you tell me that it is a pleasing sacrifice to you, because it’s honest.

Blessings, Torben

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