daily devotional

Sometimes good plans fall apart. They say it’s so better plans can come together, but in the moment it doesn’t feel better, does it? It just looks like a mess. A mess of broken pieces. A pile of what could have been, but now isn’t. What do you do with the broken pieces? How about you give them to God!

Oh my sister, you cannot imagine all God wants to do with the parts of your life that didn’t work out! You cannot fathom the work he can do in your mess.

Have you ever read a story and been impacted by it, then had it actually happen in your life? Let me tell you what happened yesterday. My friend Michelle shared a Facebook post that immediately moved me to tears. Her post said:

Today i was walking in the supermarket and suddenly I heard a noise of things breaking. I turned down an aisle and saw a group of people staring at an older lady who had hit a shelf containing plates and glasses with her cart. Many had fallen to the floor and broken.

Kneeling on the floor embarrassed, the lady was frantically picking up the shattered pieces, while her husband peeled off each bar code saying “we have to pay for all this.”

What a sad scene. Someone has a mishap and all eyes were on her. When I knelt beside her to help, a man also knelt beside us and said, “leave it, we will pick this up. Let’s get your information so you can go to the hospital and have that wound on your hand looked at”

The lady looked at him and said “but I have to pay for this.”

The man said, “No ma’am, I’m the manager and we have insurance for this. You don’t have to pay for anything. Let’s get you taken care of.”

Now this is where it gets good. The Facebook post then said:

Close your eyes and imagine God doing the same for you. Collect the pieces of your broken heart from all the misteps and blows that life has thrown at you. God will heal your wounds and your sins and mistakes will be forgiven.

This is the warranty called grace, that when you accept Jesus as your savior, the manager of the existence of the entire universe will tell you “everything is already paid for … go on your way.”

When I read this yesterday morning, two things happened:

1. My eyes were immediately filled with tears, receiving this very personal message from God knowing he he taken care of all my broken pieces.

2. I knew this was a devotional in the making.

But then God, being the God who puts the awe in awesome, allowed me to experience this lesson personally. Yesterday afternoon Lonnie and I were at the grocery store. As we were putting our items on the belt to checkout, a glass jar of capers slipped right out of Lonnie’s hand and met the fate of the cement floor. The jar shattered and capers scattered, and I nearly shouted “God’s got this!” but that would have been awkward.

Ahhhh, that God would allow me kneel down and attempt to pick up the pieces myself and then have our sweet cashier Wendy on que from God say, “no honey, don’t you worry about that, we will take care of it.”

I had already picked up the larger piece of the broken glass which included the barcode and offered it to Wendy telling her we would pay for what we had broken. She quickly met me with “that’s nonsense, you don’t need to pay anything.”

To think I broke it, but I didn’t have to buy it. It was covered.

This is exactly what God has done for us. He knew we would break the covenant. He knew we would go astray. He knew we would mess things up. He knew we would drop the ball, we would shatter his good plans, we would stray from the wholeness he had offered, so he sent Jesus to cover us. The manufacturer’s warranty that blankets our every mistake, that’s Jesus.

Yes I broke it, but Jesus fixes it.

You may lose your way and stumble around in places you had no business ever going, but Jesus will guide you out and set your feet on the right path.

In Psalm 32:8 God says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Wherever you are, however far you may have wandered off path, know with confidence your God still has his loving eye on you. He sees you right where you are this morning. At this very moment he sees you and he has created a way to get you back on the right path. When you seek him, he will instruct and teach you which way to go.

Isn’t it reassuring to know you just can’t get away from God. He will stop at nothing to reach you and bring you back into the better life he has available to you. His loving eye is on you, and his almighty hands are moving mountains that stand in your way, opening doors only He can open, and guiding his sweet daughter in the next step.

You may have messed up, you may have broken some crap along the way, but now God is here to pick up the pieces and fully cover you.

Where are your broken dishes or shattered jar of capers? What seems to be broken beyond repair in your life? Where is your hopeless? Where is your shameful mess? This is where Jesus comes in! This is why he came. To cover you. To do what you can’t do. To pay the price and guide you to a better way.

My friend Angela is a beautiful example of what Jesus can do with a mess. She and her husband had a broken marriage that was broken after he had an affair. They moved into separate homes, divorced, and began new lives apart. It was broken beyond repair. BUT JESUS. But Jesus came in and covered his mistake and her pain and began a work of restoration. They began dating again. Eventually he proposed and they got married again … to each other … for the second time. Today their marriage is an inspiration to many and they use their story to help others.

That’s what our God does. He doesn’t just glue pieces back together, he does a work of full restoration. He works within the brokenness and creates beauty. Beauty that reaches beyond our wildest expectations. Beauty that is much bigger than just us.

Honey, you are divinely broken right now because you’re in the process of heavenly restoration.

You don’t have to be embarrassed by your mess and broken pieces. Invite Jesus in to do what only He can do.

Perhaps you started this year with a few goals, but you also started this year with a brokenness that seems beyond repair. A situation that seems too far gone. Let me tell you what that is … that’s a primed field for the work of our God.

You may feel you’re at the end, but God says this is only the beginning. You may see nothing but a mess, but God says I can work with this. You may be ready to throw it all away, but God says this fits perfectly within my plan and nothing will be wasted here.

So here comes God in our devastated fields of life that seem hopeless and useless, and he starts plowing. He starts planting. He starts watering. And this land, this area of your life that you had already written off as useless and beyond repair, becomes your greatest pride and joy. The greatest harvest could just come from the field you almost gave up on.

Remember the story of Jesus feeding the crowd of thousands with only the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, then he instructs his disciples to “gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6: 12) Why would he care about the leftover pieces? Because these pieces would prove the miracle in case there was any doubt. What began as not nearly enough, fed thousands, and then became leftover pieces to fill 12 baskets. Those baskets were then placed on a boat where the disciples went out on a stormy sea and nearly sank. Then check this out in Mark 6: 50-52 Jesus walked across the water to the boat and “Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves.”

They had not understood the loaves. There in the boat were the pieces from the miracle of provision. Jesus used the leftover pieces to remind them of his power for the next challenge. Now he was there for the miracle of protection. Protection from the storm.

Hasn’t God already taken some pieces in your life and done miraculous things with them? Won’t he do it again? If he has provided before, won’t he protect you now? If he has protected you before, won’t he provide for you now?

Yes he will.

Because you’re covered. You’ve blanketed in his grace. His loving eyes are on you and he guides you in the way you should go. Let nothing hold you back from boldly stepping into the plans God has for you this year!

Understand the pieces in your life. Don’t miss what he has done and what he is doing.