In Genesis 50: 20 – 21 (MSG), Joseph assures us of God’s redemptive purpose: “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you now – life for many people” From now until July, Wendy, from Widow’s Manna, and Anna, from Joy of the Spirit Within, will share stories of God growing ministry and community precisely through frailty and brokenness. This series – Breaking Light: God’s Treasure in Vessels of Clay– will be published twice-weekly, on Tuesday and Friday of each week.
What we often wonder in the breaking physical, emotional and/or psychological hard of life’s excruciating circumstances is how we will take another step. But God sends us strength in the form of an embrace, a listening ear or beautiful honesty from the heart of our dear friends and family.
The beauty of sharing life and living and all its joys and triumphs, along with its heartaches and pain… this is how God intended community to look like.
2 Corinthians 4:6 (MSG): “It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.”
We have ups and downs. When we stand here facing the fires of hell or the endless nights, one word can make the difference. Friendships, strong bonds of family ties and community are what gives us the grace to walk without fear or doubt. It is so amazing that God never leaves us alone. We have so many in our lives who have touched our hearts and raised our spirits.
1 Colossians: 3-5 (MSG): “Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.”
1 Colossians: 13 (NIV): “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”
And there are also people out there who need what you are about to learn in and through your hard. They are waiting for you to take the steps you need to take in the agonizing pain and the overwhelming adversity. What if you just gave up or hid? How would God use you then? God has a plan for you and desires you to be a part of His breathtakingly beautiful work of redemption. You can and will make a difference. Be open, be vulnerable and be one who shares your journey.
To encourage you in this powerful calling, we, Wendy and Anna, will walk alongside you through this series, lifting our eyes up to the goodness of our Savior in and through stories of human frailty and brokenness. As we interview and share the stories of those who have known and continue to know physical, emotional and mental hardship, we pray that God would encourage, embolden and equip us all to the Glory of His Name.
2 Corinthians 4:5 (MSG): “Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you.”
May He clothe us in the confidence of our calling, that in our own unique weight of pain and anguish we would boldly step forward to fully embrace the ministry and community of eternal love our Heavenly Father holds out to us. Let us step into the Promise that (Isaiah 53: 11 – 12, MSG): “Through what he experienced, my righteous one [Jesus], will make many “righteous ones”, as he himself carries the burden of their sins.” Let’s open our physical, emotional and psychological burden to Him, let’s allow Him carry it for us. Then we too will see Him bringing life and more life from that which was intended to harm us.
2 Corinthians 4: (8-15) (MSG): “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more praise.”
Go into the drawing to win Anna’s book Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering. Just comment on today’s or Friday’s Breaking Light post and your name will be placed in the drawing. If you comment on both posts, your name will be entered twice. If you continue reading through June and July, you’ll be able to go into the drawing for other beautiful and inspiring books and artwork from our interviewees.