God uses broken people 

Published 11:28 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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Oftentimes when something is broken it is tossed aside as unusable or it gets discarded altogether. Typically broken things are not held as valuable because they have some type of defect that causes them to be less than what they were originally intended. The worth of an unrestored classic vehicle is very small in comparison to the same automobile in a fully restored condition. Brokenness is undesirable as society often looks down upon things that are fragmented.   

Thankfully, God does not view broken items as our modern culture does. In the eyes of God, broken things are beautiful. The Bible is filled with a good number of people who were broken that God used to do extraordinary things. 

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, led his people out of bondage, received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai and established the pattern of worship for the Children of Israel. But prior to all of those things Moses committed a heinous crime. While out one day visiting the Hebrew people in their state of slavery, Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves. Moses did not try to de-escalate the situation with words, instead, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. So, one of the most profound Old Testament figures who was called the friend of God was a murderer. 

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One of the minor prophets, Jonah, was commissioned by God to evangelize Nineveh. In a willful act of blatant disobedience, Jonah goes to the counter in Joppa and purchases a ticket to Tarshish. Jonah had determined he was not going to Nineveh so he found a nice spot in the boat and set sail for Tarshish in direct opposition to God’s direction. His act of rebellion put everyone on the boat in danger and cost the boat owner money as the cargo had to be tossed overboard in an attempt to keep the boat from sinking in the storm. Jonah was eventually also thrown overboard after which a great fish swallowed him and ultimately spit him out on land three days later. 

By the way, this whale encounter is not a far-fetched idea. I read an article last year about a man who in 2021 was diving off the coast of Massachusetts and suddenly found himself in the mouth of a humpback whale. He was eventually spat out and lived to tell about it. So, the stories of the Bible are not far-fetched folktales but real events that occurred! 

After Jonah was back on dry ground, he made his way to Nineveh where he delivered the message from the Lord. Afterward, he made his way to a spot where he could watch for the wrath of God to fall upon the people of the city. Instead, nothing happened because the citizens of Nineveh repented and turned from their wicked ways. This made Jonah mad to the point he wanted to die. So God used a man who was rebellious, judgmental, and had a terrible attitude. 

Over in the New Testament, we have more examples of how God used broken people. Two of the more prominent individuals are Peter and Paul. Peter was a brass man who, at one point, rebuked Jesus and then on Thursday night of the Passion Week, cut a man’s ear off. And, we don’t believe Peter was aiming for the ear but probably the man’s head!

Paul was a pious man who boasted in his religiosity. For the first part of his life he was zealous about holding traditions and defending the Jewish heritage. During this time, the apostle Paul sought to destroy Christianity by physically dragging people who followed Christ out of their homes and placing them in prison. He was a holy terrorist against all who called on the name of Christ. 

These two men, Peter and Paul, ended up being some of the biggest proponents of Christianity in their day and time. Peter preached the inaugural message of the New Testament Church and some 3,000 people were saved. Peter worked miracles and stood before a plethora of people proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. Paul traveled extensively preaching and sharing that Jesus was the Christ. Paul started churches, saw many signs and wonders by the hand of the Lord, and wrote half of the New Testament. 

These two men were broken, but God used them both mightily and is still doing so today through their writings and testimonies. 

You see, God loves broken people. He is not afraid of our flaws and imperfections. He sees value in broken things and uses them in magnificent ways. 

So, if you are broken today, don’t despair… you are perfect for God to work in and through your life! He loves you and longs to use you to do amazing things. All of your weaknesses can be aspects that show forth His power and glory. Allow God to do what He does in your life. He will use your brokenness to show His greatness!