Day 31: Forward // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness
Hi there! This is day 31 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.
Well, here we are. We’ve been diving deep into hope in brokenness for a whole month now, and I’ve been thinking about how I want to end this time together. I wish instead of interacting over a computer or phone screen, we could say these things over coffee on my couch, but for some of you that would be a pretty long drive. That being said, feel free to pause and go make a cup of your favorite warm cozy drink and pull up to this post when you’re ready. In my neck of the woods, where scarves and sweaters are coming out of hiding as fall temps drop, hot cider actually sounds even better than coffee today.
When I think about what I want you to take from this series, and what I want to be reminded of when I look back on it (because honestly, I mostly wrote it for myself as part of my own healing), my heart and thoughts are drawn straight back to the Gospel. To clarify, this is a safe place for Jesus folks and non Jesus folks alike – whether you are atheist, Christian, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or anything else, you are safe and welcome and wanted here. Completely and without strings. I also think that if I am going to talk about hope, but this core part of my own hope is not mentioned, it won’t be a very honest conversation.
One of my favorite hope stories comes from the Bible, and it’s one that Jesus told Himself.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.'” – Matthew 26:26 – 29
Reading the same story told by a different rememberer adds another facet to what Jesus is doing:
“And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” – Luke 22:19 – 20
At the first communion with His disciples, Jesus spoke a new story over our collective brokenness. Shortly after this, His body was to be broken, His blood spilled. He would die and be laid to rest, and then rise from the dead after three days’ time, changing the course of history and humanity forever. For some of us, we’ve heard it so many times that it no longer hits our ears and our hearts with quite as much impact as it needs to shake loose the chains that still hold us to things we’ve officially been released from.
Let’s break this story down so that we can absorb it better:
Jesus’ blood was shed so that we could be cleansed of all our mistakes and wrongdoing, and in understanding that we are His and accepted without condition, we would then be moved to be able to overcome sin. He changed our condemnation into empowerment, and our shame into conviction.
Jesus’ body was broken so that we could be healed of all our wounds and emotional damage, and in seeing that we are so well loved, that we might fully grasp His tenderness toward us and live freely in it. He changed our mourning into dancing and our ashes into beauty.
Jesus died and was buried in a tomb with a giant stone rolled against the entrance. He walked 33 years in our shoes, traveled deep with us into our brokenness and endured the ultimate loss – the loss of His own life. He changed our aloneness into togetherness, and His sympathy became empathy.
Jesus rose from the dead to prove that there is life after intense brokenness, whether caused by sin or wound. The same hands that rolled away the stone are holding your heart. He changed our death into life, and our despair into hope.
The resurrection holds the promise of forward motion. So many of us walk around as if our brokenness were our identity. It’s as if we think that in order to be humble, we have to stay weighed down by our garbage. But Jesus did not stay dead.
I would humbly suggest to you that a right response to what Jesus has done for us would be to acknowledge our brokenness honestly, but not live there. He did not rise from the grave so that we would stay dead in our brokenness. Jesus has written a new story for us, and it involves leaving our brokenness behind. It will always be a part of our past, but it does not need to call all the shots in our future. In fact, to let it do so would be to say that His sacrifice and resurrection meant nothing.
Let us not live one more moment as if Jesus has not given His life to heal us.
He has, and as of 2000 years ago,
Oh, let that drop into your soul and spread like so much sunshine. You are healed and you are free and you have permission to live like it. Daring to finally believe that feels like swallowing warm coffee or hot cider, cozy and soul-warming and true. He has made a way forward for us where once there was only the highest, most impenetrable wall. Going forward, you do not belong to your brokenness, but to Christ. A new day is dawning for you, sister. Go live it.