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The Struggle….of Brokenness

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The Pantheon, a place once dedicated to worship of idols but reborn to host the worship of God. May our lives tell a similar story as we realize what God does to us in baptism!

Devotional Thought of the Day:
12  I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13  Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. 14  I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)

735      The interior struggle doesn’t take us away from our temporal business—it makes us finish it off better!

Brokenness.

It is real, I encounter it each day in my own life, and I try to shepherd others through it daily as well.

Brokenness.

It sucks.  And we aren’t the first generation to deal with it.  It goes all the way back to two people who weren’t broken but became broken.

The breaks may be physical, or social, psychological.  They may seem to others to be tiny fractures, for others life is simply shattered.  Some of our breaks we hide… not easily, and some we try to hide from, distracting ourselves, trying to find ways to numb the pain.

Some of our brokenness may be dealt with, for that is what doctor’s, counselors, and mediators are there to do.  Other types of brokenness have to be endured, and that to sucks.  To deal with something broken for 40 or 50 or 70 years.  Never knowing how bad the brokenness and pain will be the next day.  We never know when we will be completely overcome by it.

As a pastor, I know this all too well, in too many areas I’ve tried to endure it.  Physical, emotional, social, and outcast. Been there, done that. Have the scars and the memories that still hurt.

I wish I could heal it all, I know sometimes it happens, as God’s mercy overwhelms us and the person’s shattered life is made whole.  I don’t understand why this one, and not that.  I only know the healing we all have access to, the brokenness that for everyone there is healing, that there is being made whole, as we are made holy.

Spiritual healing. The healing that comes from realizing God’s love.  The healing that comes from the cleansing and restoration that forgiveness is.  Our heart and soul freed of the burdens of guilt and shame.  The healing that comes from encountering the love of Christ, pure, faithful, incredible, without measure.

A love so graphically pictured in the cross, and in our baptism.  A love that invites us to share in Christ’s brokenness in communion, that our brokenness we would realize He shares in as well.  And in our promised resurrection united with Him, the brokenness fades into the past. Freed of it, spiritually now, but when Christ returns… completely as we dwell with him in Heaven forever.

This is our God, who loves us, who cares… who heals.

Find your rest in Him, and your endurance is guaranteed. This is what Paul tells us about, the struggle to hold onto Christ, realizing He is holding on to us. A struggle that as we are healed spiritually has an incredible impact on our lives, on our work, on the art that comes out of our lives.  Remind others of this as well, for that is what it means to be the church.   A place where people find healing in Christ while helping others heal.  AMEN!

Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 2662-2664). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Hello, my name is Dt and I am a narcissist..

Devotional Thought of the Day:

1  If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care2  then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. 3  Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. 4  Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG) 

 Some pressing difficulties can be remedied immediately. Others, not so quickly. But they all are solved if we are faithful: if we obey, if we observe what has been laid down.  (1)

It may seem to some that my post title is said in jest, using the formula of the various x-anonymous groups.  

I would have you know, it is not said in jest, I can be, and often am, as narcisstic as any person on the face of the planet, and while I am not proud of it, I must recognize it.  I must confront it, cofness it, and pray to God that he would help me lay down the idol of “self”.   And as with recovery programs, it is this very thing, admitting our need of God, that is our beginning step to healing.

You see narcicism is a pretty lonely life, at best, even if it is “safer” than investing ourselves in others.  Fulfillment doesn’t come at the being the best we can be, if we are alone when we achienve it.

We weren’t made ot be alone, or to be he center of our own universes.  We weren’t made to live on the defensive, paranoid and hardened against hurt.

We were made in the image of Christ.  And we were re-created in that very image as well, created (Eph. 2:10) to be His masterpice, specifically set aside for living life as He did… sacrficially, doing good things He has planned.

It’s not easy, leaving behind our narcissism, confessing our sin, asking God to use as He designs…. It requires we see ourselves nailed to the cross, united with Christ’s death and resurrection.  It requires that we live in Christ and die to self, to become living sacrifices.  Yet this is what Romans is all about, and this great passage from Philippians, and Eph.5:21 and following as it deals with the relationships of husband and wife, parents and children, bosses and employees.  It is what 1 JOhn is about, when it talks of us loving our neighbor, and James when it talks about faith and works.   It is Christ’s life, and this life we who trust in Him are called and made right and holy to live.   This is what, as St Josemaria says, is laid down.

There is a sense of irony here, for if the goal of the narcissist is self-fulfillment, self protection, to succeed at it, the narcissist has to set himself aside… drop the defenses, and invest themselves totally in others.

That is what our faith, our trust, our confidence in God enables us to do, for we find our life, alive in Christ.

Lord have mercy on us…. and help us realize that you separated us in baptism, from our narcissism.

 

 

 

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1718-1719). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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