There is an ancient Japanese art called Kintsugi, which means "golden joinery" or "to patch with gold". It is the practice of mending broken pottery by filling in the cracks with a sticky resin that hardens as it dries. The piece is then buffed and the cracks sealed with a lacquer that contains real gold.
Once a piece of pottery has gone through this process, it is more valuable and beautiful than before. Though it was once broken, not fit for use and unable to serve its purpose, the same piece has been transformed into a stunning masterpiece.
Usually in our society, when something is broken, we discard it because we consider it to be useless.
But, when it comes to God, brokenness is beautiful to Him. Because once something is broken before Him, only then is it ready and prepared for the Master's use. After being broken, we can then be made whole.
God sometimes allows us to experience and go through things that will cause us to be emptied of every trace of self. Self-righteousness. Self-dependence. Self-Will. Pride. The list goes on.
Anything that points to yourself and not to God is a major hindrance to His plans and purposes for your life. So, in His infinite wisdom, He allows us to go through, what many Christians call "the process". The process is simply a time of God refining you. It's God's way of removing everything that is not like Him and causing us to walk in an absolute place of utter dependence on Him. During the process, God is emptying you of you and filling you with Himself.
And after the process, you are an even more effective instrument in the hand of God, because God used the time of testing, to empty you of you and fill you with Himself.
Yes, times of testing, which produce brokenness, are not easy. But what God does in our hearts is priceless.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4 NKJV)
I don't know about many of you, but honestly, joy is not the emotion that first comes to mind when I think about trials and testing.
But, despite how painful they may be, I know that God is working in me, during those difficult moments, to make me complete and, to show me who He is.
He wants us, during the most difficult times, to look beyond what we may be going through, and see Him with eyes of faith.
He's seeking to show us who He is in those moments. He's seeking to show us that He alone is our everything. We are so incomplete without Him.
I love hearing and reading about Job from the bible. He lost his family and everything he owned. But he never lost his trust in God. And, after he endured a season of great testing, he was able to say,
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You." (Job 42:5 NKJV)
After the tests and trials, Job saw the God He had heard about with his ears in a whole new way. Now, He saw Him through eyes of faith.
Job also understood that the tests he endured served a greater purpose.
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold." (Job 23:10 NLT)
He understood that when this season was over, he would be refined, purified and beautiful because he endured brokenness.
Embrace what God is doing in your life. Even the difficult things. And trust that, as Job said, you will come out as pure gold.
Others may look at you as God is allowing brokenness and say, "Awww, poor baby". It may even appear ugly to you. But to God, your brokenness is beautiful.
Father, help me to remember that you are the God who knows the end from the beginning. And that you are doing something so beautiful in my life even when it's difficult. Thank you for grace to trust You daily. Amen.