We live in a broken world.
Broken marriages. Broken homes. Broken hearts. Broken dreams. Broken…
Whether you’ve just lost your job, lost a loved one or are dealing with the aftermath of a broken childhood, there are times when we all just feel…broken. Sometimes we don’t just feel broken; sometimes we are broken.
Be it from the day in, day out wear down on our bodies, minds and energy or the sudden, harsh stress of a traumatic event, the small, subtle cracks suddenly burst open and we find ourselves scattered and shattered all over the floor.
Have you ever been there? Or perhaps I should ask, when was the last time you were there?
I recently read a tweet from Lisa Jo Baker that really stuck with me:
It’s ok to feel tired, rundown and broken as long as we remember to give thanks for the broken bread #RGTHope
— Lisa-Jo Baker (@lisajobaker) March 22, 2014
The next day I read the following verse:
“And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.'” John 6:12 ESV
This verse comes right after Jesus had fed a multitude of people on the side of a mountain. Jesus took the five loaves of bread and two fish a little boy had offered him and multiplied it and used it to feed 5,000 people.
I had heard and read this story literally hundreds of times yet this time, something really stuck out to me: that nothing may be lost. Another translation says, “let nothing be wasted.”
What on earth did the disciples do with those twelves basketfuls of leftovers they collected?
Did they take it to the local village and spread the wealth? Did they send a basket home with twelve family groups? Did they send them to the local homeless shelter? The Bible doesn’t say. All the Scriptures promise us is that these broken fragments – the ones nobody else wanted; the ones nobody else needed; the leftovers; the crumbs – would.not.be.wasted.
I have been going through a season in which I am dry, weary, exhausted and…well, broken. To be totally honest, I had not been very grateful for the broken bread of my heart, as Lisa Jo so beautifully put it. I have been wallowing in fatigue and self-pity feeling quite justified in my low state.
It felt like all the pieces of me that had been broken off – either to serve others, or from the sheer beating taken by the storms of life – were being utterly wasted. Blown away in the gale-force winds of the world.
That nothing may be lost…
Why would God make sure to include this small detail of the account to be included in Scripture if He wasn’t going to tell us how He was going to use them? I am no Bible scholar, but perhaps it is in there for days like this when I read His word and words of wisdom from a Godly woman who seeks after His heart to remind me that through the hard times of life, when walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Doubt, when broken and run down and not-sure-this-is-what-I-signed-up-for that when I commit my ways and days to Him, nothing is wasted.
Perhaps He is gathering all these broken, leftover fragments together with a great plan to sustain the heart of another when we are whole again? Maybe He is saving up these un-wanted bits to work a miracle of which we could not even begin to fathom.
Friend, are you broken today? Are you tired, rundown, weary?
Let me encourage you to bring your brokenness to the One who made you, and knows every part of you better than you do. When it seems that the world has eaten their fill of your heart and left the rest to dry and blow away like chaff in the wind, let Him gather the leftover fragments so that nothing will be wasted. We may not understand His plans for the broken bits, but we can trust His heart is pure, His love is strong and He has our very best interests in His heart, and His hands – so that nothing may be lost.