Monthly theme: Vocation
Reading time: two minutes
“He has filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53). Brokenness keeps us hungry.
I’ve been reading Glenn Packiam’s “Blessed Broken Given” and thinking about how it relates to our understanding of vocation.
It seems to me that “broken” is closely connected to what we’d call in Latin “tentatio” or in German “Anfechtung.” It’s the way of the cross. It’s the life of struggle against the devil, the world and our sinful flesh that God uses to shape and mold us.
If you haven’t read it in a while, brother Martin’s “Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther’s German Writings” (AE,34:283) is a treasure on how God shapes us by His Word. Our struggles, which make us dependent on God’s mercy and grace, play a part.
Luther gives thanks for his oppression and distress because, “they have made a fairly good theologian of me, which I would not have become otherwise.”
When you were ordained or commissioned, you became a target for the assaults of the enemy. It’s a paradox of the faith that God allows faithful, beloved servants of the Word to endure extra hardship, but it’s a lesson we need to keep close to our hearts.
Like bread for the hungry, He holds us and blesses us, and then breaks us, gently and lovingly.
It’s our brokenness that makes us always hungry for the gospel.
Walther said that the Law, pointing out our desperate need for the gospel, makes us thirsty. He continues, “A person who has not been put through this experience is a sound without meaning, a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. But a preacher who has personally passed through this experience can really speak from the heart, and what he says will go into the hearts of his hearers.” (Law and Gospel, Third Evening Lecture).
How thankful are you for the struggles? Maybe like Luther, we can be more thankful when we recognize how our brokenness has opened us to the work of healing God provides by the grace of Christ!
In our hurting, we hunger for His healing: “He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” Psalm 103:3.
In our loneliness, we hunger for fellowship: “Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise” Psalm 106:47.
In our fear, we hunger for protection: “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” Psalm 23:4.
In our weakness, we hunger for His strength: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13.
In our exhaustion, we hunger for Sabbath: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
What’s your brokenness today? How is God using it to open you to His goodness?
Thanks for reading.
Next week: Given – You’re a gift from God to the world