Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

This year, you won’t find the fix for your broken.

Try as we might,

plan as we may,

this year, we won’t find the fix for our broken.

All of our planning will not make us perfect.

All of our will-power won’t fix our undesired circumstances or wrongly affectioned hearts.

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We might better ourselves in one area,

we might do something more efficiently for a time,

we might take two steps forward toward a goal,

but we can’t fix the brokenness around us and in us.

That unkind neighbor, that financial crisis, the sinful people around you will all still continue to annoy, criticize, and fail you on January 1st. Your negative thought patterns, that unforgiveness you cherish and revolve around, that lack of love will not disappear magically as the new year ushers itself in.

As we enter a new year, it’s okay to recognize the dark places, the trials and tragedies, and to look them straight on and call them what they are and praise God for the broken places and pieces of our lives.

And don’t we all have our own share of ongoing issues and problems? Perhaps some past guilt, real or imagined, over a life-altering event? Over an abortion? Or a place where you were a victim and were violated and you still can’t seem shake the guilt for grace no matter how hard you try? Perhaps a prodigal son or a failed marriage– and you keep asking what could I have done differently, securely harnessing yourself to guilt like it’s an only option and it’s suffocating you.  Guilt can become a second skin we wear without realizing it.

Or maybe we just look down our noses at all the broken around us and thank God, as a pharisee, that we are not like those others sinners.

We might do well to realize that we’re not as self-aware as we think and that our sin is just as glaring to our neighbor as theirs is obvious to us. Our behavior might be the very thing your neighbor is dreading on a daily basis. Your behavior might make your mother-in-law dread the holidays. Your plain spoken opinions might be what people dread about meeting you in public or having to work with you in close proximity. Or conversely, maybe your “perfect persona” makes others run the other way when they see you  because who wants to chat with someone who is practically perfect in every way? (especially if you are in dark season!)

I don’t know about you, but if I didn’t recognize the broken in my own life and heart, I would be hard to live with. I’d be more apt to be sharp, condemning, and judge-y to those who didn’t meet my expectations. Recognizing and grieving the brokenness is a means of grace–a lens that makes me see my need of Christ more clearly. Understanding our dark spots and rough spells as part of this fallen and irreparable world makes me long for my Savior and the beauty of His holiness all the more.

 

“He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding, yet nevertheless, fixed His heart on me.” Arthur W. Pink

 

This year, we won’t fix the broken in us or around us, but we can praise God that He still loves us, and He can redeem it all and work it into something good, and someday in eternity, all the broken parts will be fixed, our unmet desires will be fulfilled, and  our own self-loathed sin will be gone.

We can accept the unacceptable with the hope that our security and eternal hope is in God.

This reality helps us account properly. More stock in God. Less stock in self and situations and outcomes.

God’s grace. God’s strength. God’s plans, and our total reliance on His goodness is a good place to begin a new year.

Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
—Philippians 3:20

“He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
—1 Peter 1:3-4

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

— Romans 15:13



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