“God will break you to position you,
Break you to promote you,
And break you to put you in your right place,
But when He breaks you He doesn’t hurt you, He doesn’t,
When He breaks you He doesn’t destroy you, He does it with; grace”
Song; Gracefully Broken by Tasha Cobbs
I’ve been meditating on the state of being broken (Healing and Grace) and I was prompted to read 2nd Kings 7:3-20. This passage tells a beautiful story of redemption. A story about four lepers, disregarded by society as failures but in the end, turned out to be used as vessels to save a dying nation.
For those who won’t get to read the scripture here is how the story goes, in my words, lol.
Once upon a time, back then in those days lepers were forbidden from living together with society because of their condition which people feared was infectious. So they were thrown out of the city and lived separately in their own circle. At that time, the city was under attack by the Arameans. I don’t know but this doesn’t sound like a scary name to me. Like if I was indoors on a lazy Saturday morning and got a call from a strange number claiming to be the Arameans I wouldn’t be perturbed. But that’s just me. The Israelites were completely surrounded and put under siege to such a point that none of them could enter or leave the gates. With time the city’s food supplies continually dwindled as there was no replenishment available. This ultimately led to a famine that was so tragic, women resulted to feeding on their children.
The lepers who lived outside the gates were not spared either and they too shared in the predicament but what I like about these four guys is their brave resilient spirit. Since they were already dying of hunger outside the gates they thought to themselves, ‘oh well, what’s the harm in going over to the enemies’ camp to ask for food. Chances are they’ll kill us or we’ll die out here. Either way, we’ll still die. Shouldn’t we make an attempt nonetheless?’
Leper 1: Am starved (wailing out loudly)
Leper 2: I know dude, me too. I could use a nice plate of hot juicy ribs dipped in…
Leper 3: Oh please stop it that’s not helping much you know (grumpily)
Leper 1: Spare us… a man can dream. If we can’t feed our stomachs we might as well feed our dreams. Right bro? (turns and expectantly looks at Leper 4 waiting for his support)
Leper 4. Not today dudes. Am saving my energy, am too weak to indulge in silly banters.
Leper 3: Oh really, so what would you rather do, enhe? Crawl to the enemies camp and beg for a morsel (retorts snidely)
Leper 2: Why can’t we do that?
Leper 1: I beg your pardon. Slowly repeat those words.
Leper 4: Haha..y’all a bunch of cowards. I bet none of you has the guts to face fear right in the face. I bet you’d rather we die here in misery..
Leper 2: Yes, than die in pain, butchered mercilessly by the Arameans.
Leper 3: Because death by starvation is less painful than a sword..
Leper 4: Yea right, chickens, lol. See you on the other side of life.
And he began to slowly crawl over to the other side of his fear, determined to take chances in his own hands.
Leper 1: Wait a minute.. Dude is actually doing it. Look at him.
Leper 2: Damn. That’s bravery right there I tell you. I always knew he had something in him.
Leper 3: Wish I had guts like his
Leper 4: (mockingly) Hehe.. You still have a little left of yours. Why don’t you follow me before they fall off.
Leper 3: Dude I heard that. Am so coming for you. And he begins to crawl towards his direction.
Leper 1&2: Not again you two. Let’s go stop this fight. Y’all have to fight,huh, can’t wait for the enemy to kill you, you’d rather stab each other, lol.. See our lives.
With nothing left to give, the four lepers cautiously made their way over to the Arameans camp. I love how God turned the situation around to their favour. Truly when God says He fights for us, indeed He does. Would you believe that our almighty, the most high God caused confusion in the enemies camp. He made them think that the Israelites were coming to attack them and caused such panic.
“At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.”2 Kings 7:5-7
The whole camp fled away in such a frenzy that they left everything behind, all their gold, silver and possessions, all their foods and supplies. They left everything, they didn’t carry even a dime. You can imagine the utter surprise and excitement the four lepers had once they arrived at the scene. I bet at first they thought it was a trap but because of their faith, because they stepped out of their comfort zone and what they thought was their dying place, God used them to fight for His children and give victory to a war they didn’t have to fight.
Like every starving person would have done, the four lepers ate to their fill, gathered as much food and possessions as they possibly could. But unlike most of us, they were filled with compassion and decided not to hoard the supplies to themselves yet a whole city was starving to death. So they sent word out and that’s how salvation came through the least expected channels, people who were once rejected and despised.
I love how the Bible is full of stories about men and women whose labels were far from perfect but were still chosen by God to bring glory and honor to His name. I love how God calls the most ordinary people, those who are broken, those who are unqualified, and those who are undeserving to carry out His will. Because to God all that matters is that He qualifies us. Period.
It’s not about what you have done, neither is it about what you can do, it’s always about having a teachable spirit and a heart fully and truly surrendered to Christ. If this was not the case, some of us wouldn’t even stand before the world. Oh the beauty of being hidden in Christ because no one can stand up to condemn you or your past. Oh the beauty of our flaws, our weaknesses, our imperfections because God uses them to magnify Himself.
Just because we are fighting battles in some areas of our lives, it doesn’t make us less of Christians. To the world, weaknesses maybe an Achilles heel but to us who are saved, who believe in Jesus Christ, it is a platform for God to display His perfect strength through us.
As Paul clearly puts it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, my grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.(Mssg version)
Lessons I picked from the story:
- I am not my imperfections and I shouldn’t let the world label me. Only Christ has the authority to define my worth.
- My imperfections are perfect in the hands of Christ because in His own timing He makes all things beautiful.
- Christ delights in using me just as I am for His glory. He doesn’t need me to clean up first before I approach Him. Once I am surrendered to Him, He takes up from there.
- I need to be careful of my circle. At times we stay in our cocoons because our friends are afraid to break free into victory. Have a circle that is unashamedly and relentlessly pursuing growth, grace and greatness.
- Don’t treat the world as it treats you. Be kinder. Be compassionate. Be Christ Like, always. Only then can the world tell the difference.
Best lesson am carrying with me to eternity is that indeed our brokenness is a blessing in disguise and if we allow Christ to be the center of our lives, He will use it to stand us before the world as testimonies, as men and women who braved it all and came out as more than conquerors.
Praying for those warriors fighting battles we can’t see, praying for Grace and strength to overcome and above all praying for the Spirit of God to hold you, comfort you and walk you through to your testimony.
Happy new month, yaaaaay. Wishing you an exciting count down to the end of 2018.
Lots of love,