A broken and contrite heart, O God, yiou kwill not despise. Psalm 51:17b
As I pause, here in Yaounde, Cameroon, to write this devotional, the word "brokenness" comes to mind.
The world places little or no value on broken things. They are cast aside by society as useless and worthless, including people. The undesirable unborn are aborted. People of old age are hidden away in poorly run nursing homes and forgotten. The old adage: "out of sight is out of mind" is applied to all kinds of unfavorable situations.
On the other hand, brokenness is revered by God. He takes special notice of people who are broken. Jesus healed many people who were broken physically and spiritually.
What is meant by "brokenness?"
Tony Evans in his book Free at Last says, "brokeness is the work of God by which he strips us of our pride and self-succifiency so that the beauty of the life of Christ will shine through." (p. 170)
Manasseh, the king over Jerusalem, was a rotten, brutal person and provoked God to anger. God sent the Assyrian army again him and he was captured. They put hooks in his nose and bronze shackles on his feet and hauled him away to Babylon. They threw him into the Newgate prison of Babylon where he suffered intense agony for twelve long years. While in distress he called out for favor to the Lord his God, humbled himself and prayed a prayer of repentance. His humility came as a by-product of "brokenness." After twelve years, he was a broken man.
Through God's grace he was forgiven and had his kingdom restored. The first and only time that has ever happened in the history of Israel. The last twenty-three years of his life were spent in worshipping God.
Does God see brokenness in your life?