It seems like a contradiction to be speaking about “the grace of broken places.” But this is exactly what a broken place is for broken people who are united to Christ by faith. Do you remember the passage from Isaiah that Jesus selected to announce the beginning of His public ministry?
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. (Luke 4:18)
God uses broken places to make broken people whole. He uses the broken place of poverty to make us rich. He uses the broken place of sickness to make us well. He uses the broken place of suffering to give us peace. The grace of broken places is known only by those who are living for Jesus. When we are living for the self, broken places become stumbling blocks; when we are living for the Savior, broken places become stepping stones.
I have learned from personal experience that broken bones heal stronger than they originally were, because of the calcium buildup at the place of the break. This is true in the life of the believer. Every broken place is designed to be a place where we grow stronger for having gone through it. To be sure, our plans get interrupted, our agendas get sidetracked, and our goals get put on hold. But that is only because God is at work in us to create something better than we were originally hoping for and working toward.
So . . . where in your life right now to you need to see a broken place as a grace from God?
“My grace is sufficient for you,” the Lord told Paul, “for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I love the late JB Phillips’ rendering of our Lord’s words:
“My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness,
my power is shown the more completely.”
Broken places are designed to demonstrate both our weakness and our utter dependence upon the grace of God. That is why He has put His gospel in “jars of clay.” God’s grace is on grand display when it shines forth in human weakness, in order “to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
God is not only in your broken places; He has ordained them for you to go through. Why? Because He loves you—not only just as you are—but so much so that He refuses to leave you there!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!