I think we all have our little phrases we use when we’re overwhelmed. You know, like when there’s more month than money, or the kids are more than we can handle, or life just isn’t turning out the way we’d hoped it would. My phrase is, “I’m done.” I’m just done with it all. I’ve had enough; I can’t do it anymore. That’s when I’m heading for the edge. I start losing my effectiveness; I’m mentally and/or physically worn out and feel like I just can’t do it anymore. Now I’m not on the verge of suicide or anything extreme like that, so don’t be worried, but sometimes the pressures of life, well, they put pressure on me!
And I think most of us, if we were honest, feel this way at times. We can all get that angry edge; we all have a “breaking point” somewhere. After all, we’re human, we have limits. And that’s when the Lord told me, “You can either break down, or break open.”
Ps. 34:18 says, The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. And Ps. 51:17 says, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. This word broken here is ‘shabar’ which means “to break, break in pieces; rend violently, crush, quench, rupture; to shatter.” (Strong’s #07665) But why in the world would God want to smash us into little pieces and crush us to bits?
Well, I’m no Bible scholar so this is just my personal revelation. I believe it’s the same principle that the military use in training recruits. There’s a breaking down of a person so a rebuilding can occur–one that they want. They want a soldier who is well trained and prepared to fight, protect, and serve their country. Now flip this back to the Word: God wants us to be well trained, able-bodied ministers of the Gospel.
What if we opened up to what God wants to do in our lives, letting Him mold and shape us? We give Him our brokenness – all our shame, our faults, our mistakes, our frustrations – and He rebuilds us. Unfortunately, many of us (including me) don’t give these things to Him until we’re at our breaking point. If I would only open up to Him, prying all my deep dark secrets and pain that I’ve wrapped up tightly inside my heart. If only I would let go of my clenched-fisted shame and let Him heal me.
It is then that He can rebuild me. Oh, He uses the same talents and giftings that I had, but now they are ready to be used the way He wants for His kingdom. Usually when I’m on that verge of breaking down it’s because I’m the one trying to do so much and I’m not daily looking to Father for my marching orders. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I have a choice: I can keep trying to hold it together, or I can break open, be healed, and walk in liberty.