YES! The older I get, the more convinced I am that God uses broken people, who have allowed God to redeem their brokenness for His glory. I saw this truth embodied recently in Judy Squier.
I had the privilege of hearing Judy (who was born 66 years ago without legs) share her story. She highlights parts of her life in her memoir, HIS MAJESTY IN BROKENNESS: Finding God's Masterpiece in Your Missing Piece. I appreciated her raw honesty and courage as she talked about her struggles.
Her self-deprecating humor also helped engage her listeners. For example, her story about being stopped by a traffic cop and answering his question about her height with the surprising question: "With or without my legs?" The cop remained poker-faced. To the question about her weight (since she didn't have her driver's license), she replied: "With or without my legs?"
She gave me a glimpse into the struggles she faces daily because she was born without legs. When she was ten, she was fitted with artificial legs that she could take on and off as needed. She stopped using her prosthetic legs when she was 61 and now uses a wheelchair.
Of course, a wheelchair only works if there is a paved road or street.
When she went to Romania on a missions trip several years ago, she faced an impossible collection of different-sized stones unevenly clumped together over dirt for a path. The path led to their host, Gog's place, where they would spend the night.
"No way could a wheelchair traverse the path. Sure, in one week I'd become a pro at crawling on and off of Romanian public transportation, but no way could I make it to whatever awaited us at the end of the impassable trail...Maybe I could sleep in the car?...I don't know what broke the logjam. I think it helped when Grace mentioned that our frustrated host [Gog] had a disabled nineteen-year-old son who he carried regularly. Would I let him carry me?" (pp. 148-149)
What will Judy do?
"Any other time I would have said Absolutely not but it was almost 10 p.m. and we had to be at the airport in the morning by six...Everyone was shocked, most of all me, when I said I thought we could make it work. Gog was delighted. In a flash he squatted down beside the back seat...I hoisted myself up on my stumps, positioned myself as high up on his back as I could, then wrapped my arms around his neck."
After carrying Judy across the path and lowering her gently onto the couch, what was Gog's response?
"...Gog's hands shot heavenward and he shouted praises to God in English, 'Number One, Number One.' As a fervent prayer flowed from his heart, our hands rose upward in thanksgiving."
Gog then continued to serve Judy and the team by preparing their beds, making dinner and then cleaning the bathroom. Afterwards, he took care of his disabled son. He did all of this cheerfully with a joy that can only come from the Lord.
I agree with Judy that Gog had achieved sainthood.
Before Gog could bless Judy, she had to relinquish her pride and be carried by Gog. Likewise, we may have to put down our pride and allow God to carry us when we face our brokenness.
Maybe you are not missing two legs, but you're missing a loved one, or suffer from an invisible disability, such as depression. Maybe you come from a broken family, or you struggle with an addiction. Or maybe you regret bad choices that you've made and the hurt you've caused.
Whatever the cause of your brokenness, will you come to God with it?
Will you let God use your brokenness to draw you closer to Himself as Judy has?
Will you let God transform your brokenness into a work of beauty that encourages others?
Please do, the world needs the masterpiece called your new life in Christ.
Thanks to Val Chown for the photo of Judy Squier.
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