A pedestal makes for a very lofty and lonely home. But for years, I’ve made my home there.
So many of us do.
We brace against the bruising of life by climbing up above our peers, scaling our own Tower of Babel in the name of self-protection. In the name of survival. I’ll be honest: it’s hard not to live on an island when we see such brokenness in this world. All around us, hearts are fracturing and faulting. We are like little helium balloons in a giant room of tacks.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about vulnerability. Namely: my vulnerability. I can’t pretend it’s been a pleasant thing to consider because I prefer to not dwell on my oh-so-subtle-humanity. And I’d wager that you aren’t very different, are you?
We’re a group of stubborn treehouse-dwellers, you and I. At the smallest hint of danger, our tendency is to scramble up to our treehouse. Our little pedestal with walls. We tell ourselves that it keeps us safe. keeps us strong. Keeps us breathing.
Life Outside of Your Walls
And friend, God has been teaching me what my head has known but my heart had forgotten: There’s a better way to live.
In Psalm 3, David speaks about this way of living. He pens these words while fleeing for his life from his own son. Can you imagine the vulnerability he must have been feeling? But instead of holing away, he says: “But you, oh Lord, are a shield about my glory and the lifter of my head” (v. 3).
I haven’t been able to get that verse out of my head this week. The image of our Sovereign God stopping down to tenderly lift the head of His children… it’s enough to make me tremble.
See, God cares enough about you to see that your eyes are downcast. He knows that you are ashamed. He grieves with you in your pain. And in response, he draws near.
What could be more reassuring to a vulnerable heart? What is as liberating as our Heavenly Father’s, whose protection and victory come with the gentle reminder of who we are in Him?
I can’t think of a thing.
When You’re Broken
That revelation has caused me to question my tendencies to isolate or pretend to be okay… which, to be honest, I’ve done quite a lot of. This truth has shown me how prideful (and counterproductive) it is to let my head hang instead of letting the Lord near my brokenness.
You can’t fix you. I know that seems blunt–and it is–but I’m speaking from experience. I’m preaching to myself as well when I say that it’s simply not possible. Years of teetering on death’s edge and faking “okay” haven’t worked for me. They won’t work for you. Why? Because you can’t fix you.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to. God is the lifter of your head–no matter what you’ve done or what has been done to you. As David reminds his soul, so we ought to remind ours: our God hears us (v. 4), He provides rest amid the trials (v. 5), He gives us courage (v. 6), He defends us (v. 7), and He provides unshakeable hope through salvation (v. 8).
That is our God. That’s what He can and will do, if we would only “come” instead of “climb.”
So that’s my encouragement to you today. If you’re not already walking through a trial, you will soon. As you do, resist the temptation to hide your flaws or your sin. Fight the desire to pretend everything is okay. You’re surrounded by other broken people (like me!) who long to help you. And each one of us is strengthened not by our own gumption but by the gentle hand of a Mighty God.
It is good news that should cause us to proclaim with David: “I love you oh Lord, my strength” (Ps. 18:1).
Ps. If you’re struggling right now, please reach out–to me or to someone who loves you. Because there are so many people who love you and want to be with you in the brokenness that feels oh so scary right now.
2 thoughts on “For When You Feel Broken”
Thank you. Ps.18:35
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