Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
I recently spoke with someone who told me the story of hitting rock bottom. He had previously gotten into some sinful habits and for a long period of time was stuck. Then a number of events all came together that led him to feel completely broken. He spent days grieving. He called it one of the most painful experiences of his life.
But then he began to heal.
Fast forward about a year and this person is completely different. God has worked in his life. He still struggles with his sin, but not in the same way as before. But perhaps more importantly, his relationship with God is much deeper. He told me that, as painful as his experiences were last year, he is thankful for them because of where he is now spiritually.
His experience is not something new. In fact, it is something important in the lives of all people. Let me explain…
I am no farmer, but I do remember a while back when I was trying to get some grass to grow in parts of my yard where it was bare. At first I went out and bought some grass seed and threw it on the hard, bare spots. Nothing happened. So the next time I put seed down I first took a rake-like-thingy and beat the living daylights out of the ground. I beat it to a pulp. Then I took the seed and threw it in. Months later (and with much watering) I had healthy grass growing instead of bare spots in the yard.
The ground needed a little beating in order to be more receptive of my seed. When the ground was broken the seed was able to plant more deeply and actually have a chance to root.
The same is true for us.
Over time there are parts of us that harden. When necessary, God will allow situations and circumstances to break us. It doesn’t feel good. During that time we may even wonder why God would allow it. But when these situations do arise, I encourage you to go to God and see what is going on. Instead of getting mad at him for the crummy situation, try to have faith that he is allowing this situation to happen to make you a better person.
Perhaps there is a sin that needs to be “beaten” out of you. Or perhaps there is simply a hardness of the heart that has crept in. Whatever it may be, God may need to break you so you that the Holy Spirit can properly work in your life.
Is it fun? No. But is it best for you in the long run? Absolutely. And down the road you will perhaps thank God for allowing it to happen.