Almost every weekend within the last couple of months, my kids and I have excitedly been participating in Christmas festivities. Whether it be watching classic christmas movies, attending holiday parties, or exploring the city's best light displays, we have done it! Well this weekend we decided to set apart some time for building a gingerbread house, full of candy and icing and all the extras that make it such a fun project. All the pieces were laid out neatly for easy pick-up. The icing bag was filled to the brim with its tip perfectly positioned. Even the various candies had their own space on the kitchen island; we were ready to go! It had been less than ten minutes, however, before our efforts came to an unexpected halt. My son, who is normally so careful with these projects, accidentally dropped the main (front) side of the gingerbread house, and--you guessed it--broke it into pieces. The disappointment on his face was unbearable to watch as he quickly picked up the pieces, gathered the remainder of the gingerbread house from the island, and headed towards the garbage can. "What are you doing??" I asked. "It's ruined!," he exclaimed, "It broke, so I'm throwing it away!"
Hmmm, that really got me thinking. I quickly told him to bring the pieces back to the kitchen island. "Yes it is broken," I explained, "but it isn't ruined." You see, in that moment, my son only saw the disappointment instead of the potential, but I knew that these broken pieces could still be made into something beautiful. With some extra, special care, they could be the finished project they were supposed to be.
What about you? Have there been times in your life that have left you feeling broken? Have you ever felt like damaged goods that can't be put back together? This incident served as a reminder to me that being broken does not mean being thrown out and forgotten; being broken is an opportunity to be intricately and beautifully made. For the remainder of our family project, more care and attention than usual had to be given in order for the pieces to be held together strongly enough to stand on their own. God does the same thing with you. When you are broken, or have areas of your life that are broken, He gives you special, undivided attention as He carefully places the pieces of your life back together. Consider these few verses:
Jeremiah 17:14 "God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!"
Colossians 1:20 "Not only that, but all the broken pieces and dislocated pieces of the universe - people and things, animals and atoms - get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross."
1 Peter 5:10 "But may God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you."
Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time."
As you have probably guessed, my family was able to finish making and decorating the gingerbread house and now have it on full display. Although hardly visible, if you look closely enough, you might still notice a crack or two within its walls, and I am actually glad for that. I prefer it that way because now every time I look at it, I'm reminded of the message I just shared with you. The broken pieces of your life were never meant to be hidden or thrown away. They tell a beautiful story. And it's your story to tell.