THE TRAJECTORY OF BROKENESS
by Khalilah Shelton
tra·jec·to·ry | a path, progression, or line of development…
When my son breaks a toy he brings it to me expecting me to be able to restore it something he can use for his pleasure. He comes to me with hope based on the fact that I have been able in the past to restore his broken toys. He could ask any one of the other five people in our home for help, but he rarely does because he does not have as much confidence in them to produce what he is looking for. He is usually afraid that they will cause further damage. In the same way, our broken lives have the potential to go in many different directions depending on who gets our brokenness. To whom should we take our brokenness? What difference does it make?
Brokenness can only be restored by the one, true God. Let us look at that story of Cain and Abel, the first children mentioned of Adam and Eve. Both men were born into a broken world, to broken parents on a cursed earth. Each life had a very different trajectory. No one had any advantage over the other as far as their physical circumstances. However, God had “regard” or respect for Abel’s offering but not for Cain’s.
“In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.” Genesis 4:3-5 ESV
Cain’s hatred and brokenness lead to the first murder recorded in the Bible. Our brokenness without God leads to peril. There is no redemption or hope for a future. We are only able to operate in our present realities and if bleak enough they lead to death.
“We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.” 1 John 3:12 ESV
However, brokenness with Christ does not give preference to status or personality type. It does not seek the best or the worse, it seeks the willing. Those willing to be broken --in Christ-- are those who are willing to admit that their way is less than that of God. They are willing to dethrone themselves and concede to the rightful King.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
Scripture does not say that one offering was better than the other but God looked at the heart of the man making the offering. What is the condition of your heart? Who will you run to with your brokenness? There are many people and places accepting broken lives and promising to restore them to something useful and good. But human brokenness can only be restored by the One who was broken for us, Jesus Christ. Jesus left heaven to endured the brokenness of the world. He was beaten and hung on a cross to die that we may be whole. He rose again and lives that we may have life. Dear woman, perhaps your brokenness has lead you down a path of destruction and unwise decisions or maybe it has lead you right to the feet of Jesus. It possibly is leaving you lost and wandering through life thinking that no one cares. You are not alone. Jesus can and will meet you where you are. What will be the trajectory of your brokenness?