Several years ago I did this Bible study with my friend Joanna called No Other gods by Kelly Minter. Whoa. This is not a lightweight, no ma’am. It is a heavy-hitter! That is, if you WANT it to be. I have found, as I'm sure many of you have, that something is only as "deep" as you want it to be...but I am going deep, because there are issues in my life that need gutting.
That said, listen to this quote from page 64 of No Other gods regarding
God's "brand of beauty:"
"A healed relationship or person can reflect more glory than one who never knew brokenness."
Okay, I thought. Broken doesn't necessarily mean pulverized...then I looked it up in the dictionary. (Yes, I'm a "word nerd," and I love doing this.) Broken: 1. NO LONGER WHOLE, in two or more pieces e.g. after having been dropped or hit with something hard.
Um, yah. Have you ever dropped a glass bowl? It shatters in a million pieces! (Especially on a tile floor... not like I would know anything about that personally...) Ahem.
My favorite book (next to the Bible) is my Synonym Finder. Why they don't just call it a thesaurus I don't know. Anyway...I checked out broken, and here are some synonyms:
Shattered. Smashed. Crushed. Mangled. Pulverized. Ruptured. Torn. Damaged. Destroyed.
I will tell you a few things my friends, first of all, I'm pretty darn sure that all of us have felt like one of these words in our lives...maybe recently. Maybe as recently as last week...maybe, right now.
Second, always remember that with God: "We are hard pressed on every side, but NOT crushed; perplexed, but NOT in despair, persecuted, but NOT abandoned, struck down but NOT DESTROYED." II Corinthains 4:9
Once again, the WORLD'S definition of something and GOD'S definition are completely different. The world says if you are broken, you are destroyed. GOD says, if you are broken, HIS glory will be revealed. HIS STRENGTH will be made perfect in YOUR WEAKNESS. He is making you a new creation...He loves you too much to let you grow complacent.
I am preaching to the choir here, folks. I will be the first to admit that I stumble under adversity.. But God knows that sometimes when I am on the mountain top, I get lost looking at the view, and not reflecting upon that which put me on the top. So He keeps giving me the "valley view" until I get it. I'm not sure that I will ever COMPLETELY get it...I mean, come on, what fun would that be?
Lest I digress, let's get back to the quote. Did you ever wonder what our purpose was on this earth? Very simple. To glorify God. Some people I know can do that in an amazing way without have to go down the wrong road, or without suffering. Most do not. "A healed person or relationship"....that doesn't necessarily mean physical healing, but it certainly could. How magnificent when a believer goes to the doctor, only to find that the cancer that was there IS NO MORE? That is GLORY, my friends. Much more than if that person never got cancer in the first place!
However, God can reveal His glory in the same way when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and do it with HIS Strength! If you knew of someone that God healed of cancer, it would be a huge WOW factor. And God would get HUGE glory. But for how long? Would we forget, like the Israelites, who seemed to forget so quickly that God parted the Red Sea for them? But what about the person who quietly walks through their disease with God, day after day, moment after moment, constantly reflecting Him? (And I'm soooo not saying that's me, because there's not much quiet about me! I go along, but many times kicking and screaming!!)
Now on to a really sticky subject, but one very close to my heart: Does God SEND disease? I believe, sometimes, He does. This is one thing I know more than anything else in my being: GOD WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BRING YOU CLOSER TO HIM.
And I mean whatever. Some things He allows to befall us, but I truly and completely believe that other things He Himself sends to us, so that we can grow closer to Him, and so that His glory will be revealed. Some of us (and I mean ME) are so stubborn we don't get the more subtle hints and need the "big guns." And when this happens, my friends, you will never be the same again.