I recently read an article in the newspaper about the art of kintsugi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of taking chipped and broken pottery and repairing it using gold. By using a precious material to repair an essentially worthless piece of pottery, the worthless item receives a new life and in some cases is worth even more in its new, repaired state.
I loved reading the article and doing a little bit more research on this art. Often when something is broken it is worthless and must be discarded. But in this case when a ceramic item is broken it can be made even more unique and beautiful by displaying its cracks and scars, mended with precious materials.
This article made me think of a popular song I have heard on the radio. The singer is talking to God and says, “You take our brokenness and make us beautiful.” Just like kintsugi, God takes broken things and makes them even more precious with his mending.
Sometimes I feel like I’m that broken thing. I’m sure most of us have gone through a period of time when we felt down and alone. Even people who look like they “have it all together” go through tough times. Looking through the Psalms we see David constantly appealing to the Lord, “Why?”
Psalm 22: 1-2
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
I’m sure there were times David felt broken. Imagine how he felt when he was confronted about his sin with Bathsheba. Have you ever felt that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have done something terribly wrong and it has ended quite badly?
But we need to remember, when we’re feeling like we are a failure, when we have sinned against God and offended fellow Christians, God is faithful and true to us. He can mend our brokenness and heal our hurts. After He is done with us what is revealed is often something much more beautiful and precious than what we were before.
What can we do to be healed by God? First, we must recognize our sin and repent. Go will not heal an unrepentant spirit. Proverbs 28:14 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Psalm 51:16-17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” God sees our hearts and knows when we are being honest with Him and with ourselves.
Once we recognize our sins we must repent. 2 Chr. 7:14 says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” I know this verse is directed toward the nation of Israel, but I also know that the God who spoke these words is the same God I serve today. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The principle is the same. In the New Testament we read, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9
Once we have repented from our sins we must let go of the guilt and the shame of our mistakes and move on. No good comes from living in the past; we must always be moving on to the future. We have to let God put those beautiful pieces into the cracks we have made in our lives. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.” It is up to me to choose to let go, move on, and decide to be joyful.
Only by following these steps can we truly grow. When we persevere through trials and struggles and emerge victorious we become stronger. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
If you are a younger Christian take some time to visit with an older member. Listen to their stories of the struggles they’ve gone through and hear how they persevered. Sometimes we stay strong through the trials, sometimes we fail and have to pick ourselves back up. But when we look back we can see that each and every conflict made us stronger and more capable to face future trial.
Always remember, when you are going through the storms of life you may feel broken, but after you have come through this difficult stage you will be stronger, wiser and more beautiful.
By Fern Boyle
Fern Boyle is a homeschooling mom of six kids who lives in Enid, Oklahoma. Her husband, Doug, is an elder in the church of Christ at Garriott Road, and a pilot in the military, having served in both the Marine Corps and Air Force. Their time traveling from coast to coast has blessed them with friends in the church all across the country as well as many opportunities to grow as Christians. Fern enjoys running, hiking, reading and teaching ladies Bible class. She used to have other hobbies but then she had more kids. Her children are what she loves most, however, watching them grow and develop into wonderful young men and women.