God created everything in the universe, and everyone in it. Each person is unique. Not only are we unique in our personalities and talents, but we each have our own unique cross to bear. Over time, and with God’s help, we can learn to embrace our cross and He can make something beautiful out of our brokenness. I invite you to read more….
We must never forget that Easter began on Good Friday. In order to reach the glory of His Easter resurrection, Jesus had to first pass through the agony of His cross and death. God brought something beautiful out of something tragic. God is still making works of art out of messy lives.
Jesus embraced His death and accepted His fate. He endured humiliation, torture, excruciating pain, fear, abandonment and ultimately death, all so that those who believe in Him can be set free from the chains of sin and have eternal life with the Father.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are also called to embrace our cross. Crosses come in many forms. One cross that we all carry comes in the form of our battle to overcome the recurring sin in our life.
We don’t get to choose our cross. We don’t have to like our cross. But, we all need to embrace our cross like Christ embraced His, and we must struggle to carry it throughout our life. We don’t embrace our recurring sins, but we should embrace our struggle to overcome those sins.
Sometimes we do better than other times in our battle to resist sin. The battle can seem daunting and relentless. We grow weary. Following those occasions when we give into temptation and sin, we only need to repent to experience a close-up personal encounter with the mercy of God. When we do, something beautiful can happen.
Fulton J. Sheen famously once said, “Humility is a virtue by which we recognize ourselves as we really are, not as we would like to be in the eyes of the public; not as our press notices say we are, but as we are in the sight of God when we examine our conscience.” The fact that we are broken, sinful people should keep us all humble.
Mk 8:34-35 tells us that if we want to follow Christ, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. It tells us that we must die to self in order to live. As Christians, we must pass through death to find new life. We must be transformed. Transformation is often a slow painful process. But through our struggle, God can transform us into works of art.
Permit me to use the image of a circus performer spinning ceramic plates on a stick to make my point today. Each one of us is one of the plates. Inevitably, even the most skilled performer drops some of the plates. When he does, the ceramic plates fall to the floor, smashing into many pieces.
Our recurring sins can similarly smash our lives into many pieces. Sadly, we don’t just fall and smash once, but we tend to crash over and over again. Our lives can be strewn with countless broken pieces.
Ahh, but there is the good news. God is an amazing artist. Much like an artist skilled in the Japanese art of kintsugi, God can mend the cracks in our lives and make us better than new.
Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of fixing what is broken. Kintsugi roughly translates as “golden joinery.” The pieces of the broken object are painstakingly gathered up. The broken exposed surfaces are cleaned with alcohol. Lacquer is applied to provide gloss, and act as a bonding agent. The pieces are carefully put back together. Any gaps are filled with putty. After more lacquer is applied, it is time for the final step. Gold dust is applied to the joints and allowed to dry.
When finished the golden imperfections make the original piece more beautiful. They also make it more valuable. Kintsugi places emphasis on the repaired cracks and turns them into the most enduring part of the object. The imperfections have now become an important part of the object’s history, rather than something to disguise. This meticulous repair process also makes the object stronger than it originally was.
Kintsugi serves as a great metaphor for how God repairs us. God collects the broken pieces of our lives and puts them back together. His mercy and forgiveness become the gold that covers over our mistakes. After He has healed us through His grace, we become stronger. He restores our value. Rather than hide our brokenness from the world, God allows our imperfections to draw attention to the redemptive power of His Son. Even if we continue to fall and crash repeatedly, God never tires of repairing us and covering us in the gold of His mercy.
If your cross seems too heavy to carry at times, and right now you are struggling to overcome the chains of a recurring sin, I encourage you to never lose hope and never give into despair. God never gives up on us. Embrace your cross because God is prepared to make an amazing piece of art out of your broken pieces.
Heavenly Father you are amazing! I praise you and thank you for your Son Jesus and for the work of your Holy Spirit in my life. Lord I labor to brake to chains of sin, yet I frequently fall short. I trust that you can make my brokenness beautiful. You alone can restore my value. Amen!
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