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July 2016 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

When God Uses Brokenness to Radiate His Splendor

By Laurie Nichols

July 1, 2016

Over the past few months I’ve journeyed with a woman we met in a bar. She is dying. She knows Jesus. As I sat with her today and prayed over her, tears streamed down my face. For lost dreams, for what could have been. Tears of sadness. But also for the hope of heaven, for the immanence of Jesus whisking her away to life eternal. Tears of joy.

But do you know why my tears felt especially heavy? Because my friend (yes, I call her friend) has taught me more than I ever thought possible. She taught me how to trust in God even when life has been filled with disappointment. She taught me how to wake every morning with the hope that God hears our prayers and is near to us. She taught me that no matter how large the obstacles, we must keep trusting, trying, and pushing forward.

I sat with her, trembling. I prayed over her words of hope and peace. But I also thanked her for what she has taught me. Had she not asked me to walk this road with her two months ago I wouldn’t have known how much she had to teach me. In brokenness, she has displayed a character which radiates what each of us should emulate.

God is good. He allows us to care for those who are broken, and in return, sometimes I wonder if it is really we who need the greater lessons and the greater healing. Isaiah 31:6 is my friend’s story:

“…and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

My friend is an oak of righteousness. Loving on her has shown me a beautiful display of God’s splendor. What about you? What have you learned from those who are broken and bruised?