Growing In Faith
Posted: May 20, 2023
Author: Kerry Lytle
Isaiah 61:3, New Living Translation
"To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory."
Mosaics are beautiful. A mosaic is defined as “decorative designs made by setting small colored pieces of stone or tile, into a surface". They are made by cutting pieces of colored stone and glass into specific shapes to fit into the larger pattern.
In a mosaic, the artist arranges pieces of cut or broken stone or tile, called tesserae, to create a decorative pattern. We may struggle to grasp the overall design of a mosaic when we’re looking at the individual pieces up close. All we see are broken pieces. But when we step back far enough to view the entire mosaic, we get a new perspective, and we can see the intricate beauty of the finished masterpiece. And that enables us to grasp the original intent of the artist.
Every one of us has some sort of brokenness in our past. Perhaps we have grieved from a broken heart, complicated situations, loss of health, or relationships. Whether it’s from choices we have made or circumstances beyond our control, sometimes we find ourselves so utterly broken that we don’t know how things could ever be restored.
I have faced some serious moments of brokenness in my life. There were points where the pieces of mine were so destroyed that they weren’t just shattered; they were ground to dust. I felt like everything I knew had gotten smashed by a sledgehammer.
But God intervened. He scooped up the pieces of my spirit and put me back together, piece by broken piece. Where my heart had been ground to dust, He created a new one. Every time I suffer another break, He fills in the cracks with His love and life. God restores me and makes me complete again, like the broken pieces used to make a mosaic.
Have you ever tried putting yourself back together when you are falling apart? When your life is crashing toward the floor, and you have no way to catch it, what do you do? What can you do? We can’t put ourselves back together. Every time we try to glue the pieces into place, we spring a leak. We cannot repair ourselves any more than a shattered bowl can repair itself. That’s why we need a savior! We need Jesus to come into our lives, scoop up the pieces, and put us back together. Only God restores us. He is the only one who has the power and know-how to fix what is broken. He takes our brokenness and turns it into beauty.
This concept of “beauty for brokenness” reflects what Isaiah 61:3 (NLT) says: God will bestow on us “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.” No matter your pain today, God will give you beauty for ashes. He can use our hurts as a platform for us to share God’s truth with the world. Our spiritual lives are mosaics, made up of a bunch of broken, jagged pieces and experiences that God combines to create a beautiful whole.
We are all broken. But God delights in making beauty out of our brokenness if we will let him. I encourage you to daily surrender your brokenness to the Father. We don’t choose our brokenness, but we can choose whether we will stay broken. Don’t. Let Christ put those broken pieces back together to restore the beautiful vessel he can use for his glory. Because of Jesus, there can always be beauty in brokenness.
It doesn’t matter what you have done, what lies hidden in your past, or how unworthy you think you are. You can choose to let God pick up your pieces right now and make you whole.
Remember, there is beauty in brokenness, just give God your broken pieces!