Have you ever pretended you had it all together?
Recently, I met a friend for coffee and, fueled by Pastor Mike’s sermons, decided to be completely transparent. My friend listened attentively, asked questions, and then said two words I wasn’t prepared to hear:
Maybe, she suggested, it was time to dive deep into some of these issues; you know, get a notebook and write it all down, process it, pray about it, make sure no bitter root is springing up.
You don’t have to go far to find broken people in the Bible. Adam and Eve’s son Cain killed their other son Abel. Abraham and Sarah were barren. Sarah ended up in another man’s harem—twice. Joseph was sold and unjustly imprisoned.
These are just a few of the many traumatic incidents in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Book after book in the Bible chronicles the lives of messy, screwed up, shortsighted, broken people.
And while the world tells you to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and be a self-made man or woman, the Bible offers a different solution.
His name is Jesus, and this is his invitation:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Long before words were labeled as triggers, Jesus knew what sin does to a person. He knew we would try to solve everything ourselves but easily become weary. He understood that life is full of burdens and that if we try to carry them all, they will crush us. He knew we would run after all kinds of solutions that would leave us more broken and tired.
And so, the God who sees everything and knows the weight of sin came to bear our sin. He came to yoke himself to us so he could carry what we couldn’t.
And in his Word, God showed that whether we are broken from our own foolishness (Peter, Paul) or because our minds have become the devil’s playground (Mary Magdalene) or our spouse or someone we trusted left us high and dry when we needed them most (Sarah, Joseph), his plan is not that we stay broken forever. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
God restores us. Sometimes it’s as simple as turning to him in his Word and prayer and getting encouragement from friends. Sometimes a Christian counselor can help. And sometimes it will require the hard work of digging out pesky roots, acknowledging the sin that brought about the trauma, and working toward renewal and restoration.
God will be with you. It’s what he does. And when you come out on the other side, he’ll help you use what you’ve been through to renew and restore others.