Many of us in recovery from addiction tearfully and prayerfully remember our brothers and sisters who have died or are still suffering and we quietly say, “But, for the grace of God, there go I.”
We believe it was grace, not luck nor will power, that brought us to our knees in humility seeking a better way, a return to sanity, a reason to continue on our journeys as participants in life. It was grace that set us free from the hell of alcoholism and drug addiction. It is still today that amazing grace which keeps us clean and serene. We praise the power whom we address as Lord and Savior as we thankfully remember the many others along the way who have knelt with us, cried with us and prayed with us.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
If your life is perfect, if you have no problems, if your faith is strong as an ox, then this post is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are like me, a man who questions everything, doubts everything as the disciple Thomas did, reels between ecstasy and bewilderment when considering the things of faith, then we can appreciate the title of Matthew West’s song, BROKEN THINGS.
“If it’s true you use broken things – then here I am Lord, I’m all yours.”
People don’t like broken things – they throw away cracked dishes, broken vacuum cleaners, flickering lamps, worn clothing. I remember my grandfather who took his shoes to a cobbler to be re-soled rather than buy new shoes. Thinking he could not afford new shoes, I bought him a pair for Christmas. Graciously he thanked me but continued wearing those old shoes. That new pair was still in its box when Grandpa died.
Rather than repairing broken relationships, husbands and wives will find good divorce lawyers. Fathers and sons remain estranged for many years after a disagreement, not remembering what the argument was about, but too stubborn to reconcile. For many of us, broken relationships are not worth repairing.
I was the last to admit that I was broken. My life had spiraled head first into a vast darkness which applauded my efforts to be strong, to be better than others, to stand out from the crowd, to chart my own destiny no matter what the cost. I swam in that sea of darkness believing it was my strength of character and independence that kept me afloat. I did it entirely on my own personal will power. I drove myself to be a self-made man, independent of anyone – especially God.
Some of us are sicker than others. Thankfully, God knows this; he has a special room in His heart for the sickest of the sick. Patiently, steadfastly, lovingly He guided me to a place where I could take an honest assessment of me – on my knees. We talked, we cried, we screamed out in pain and then we entered the wide gate into the Kingdom of grace.
I am still a broken vessel today. I like it that way because my Lord can use broken things to fix the brokenness which He sees in his human family. Patch me, glue me, bind me together. Like that pair of Grandpa’s worn-out shoes, I can always be re-souled. “I am just a beggar in the presence of a King.”