God amazes me and he confuses me. He is unpredictable to my human mind. I think he will do one thing, and wow does he ever shock me when he does something totally different.
You think you know how God works, until he does something you don’t expect. We try to convince God we have a good plan worked out, then he shows us his plan is greater. Greater doesn’t always look better. Greater doesn’t always align with our idea of greatness. But, we’re all on a journey of understanding this great God of ours and trusting the unfolding of his greater plans.
You know in Isaiah 55: 8-9 when the Lord says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” I want to say NO JOKE! God, I have everything lined up the way it should work then you start changing crap! Then he goes on to say “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Oh, okay … so you know better? I’ll back down.
His thoughts and his ways are higher. They are elevated. He has a broader perspective and a view of the big picture. He knows details of eternity, I know limited and partial information about this moment.
This weekend I spoke at a women’s conference in Texas. I had worked on my presentation for months, believing God was in the details of all I would be sharing. And he was … however he showed up and did something I didn’t see coming.
I taught on God allowing brokenness in our lives so he can put us back together, fill the cracks with Jesus, and make us more than we ever were before. Like the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken pieces of pottery are held together with liquid glue becoming a work of valuable art, we too are beautiful in our brokenness. God allows the breaking for a greater purpose.
And of course because I don’t want to do anything in a boring fashion, I am fully prepared to break stuff on stage. I go to the Dollar Tree and pick up a variety of plates and bowls. Low budget means high breakage, right? I decide to practice breaking the dishes in advance to prepare for how far the pieces would fly. The stage was carpeted, so to ensure proper breakage, we place 4 large square tiles on the floor. I drop the plate from waist height and it breaks the tile, but the plate remains whole.
Oh … I didn’t see that coming.
Okay, that’s what practice is for. I raise the next plate shoulder height and release it with a little more umpphhh and thud, it hits the floor and NOTHING happens. Nothing. Not a crack, not a chip, not anything.
Ya’ll those Dollar Tree plates are sturdy as heck. You gotta go get you some of those!
I leave practice thinking, THAT’S EXACTLY WHY YOU PRACTICE. I’m teaching on breaking and I can’t get the plate to break … that would be an epic fail. So, I go to the Wal-Mart and I buy a few of those 99 cent wine glasses. They are paper thin and absolutely certain to break. No need to practice further with those puppies, they’re BREAKING! Heck, they nearly broke in the bag on the way there.
So, here I am Saturday, on stage teaching about the God who allows the breaking in our lives. The God who uses the breaking for something greater. I stand confidently on the stage with the tiles before me, holding the fragile wine glass. I let it go, it falls as if in slow motion, and then it literally bounces. Bounces off the hard tiles, and rolls to the carpet. To my absolute shock and amazement, the glass was whole. Unbroken, unchipped, perfectly whole.
For a second I thought maybe the audience couldn’t see the glass and I could just pretend it had broken. Oh I wanted it to be broken, but there was no denying, that baby had bounced.
In that moment I realized IF GOD DOESN’T WANT IT TO BREAK, HONEY IT WON’T BREAK.
Every odd in the world can be stacked against you, there could be zero % chance of your survival from the fall, but if God says you won’t break, you won’t break. No power in hell can make you break when God has chosen to keep you whole.
I picked up that cheap wine glass that had just survived the fall and clinked it against another glass to prove it wasn’t plastic. Prove it’s fragility. Prove what they had just seen was a miracle. Everyone sat speechless.
I once again held that same glass high over the tile and said, “but if God allows it to break, then it’s for a greater purpose.” I dropped it, and this time it shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Same glass, same hard tile floor, same fall, but God had different plans.
I didn’t see that coming. I couldn’t have planned it or prepared for it. We had literally witnessed a miracle.
Maybe you’re dealing with something you didn’t see coming. It’s not as you planned or prepared for, but will you trust God knows EXACTLY what he is doing.
If he allows it to break, he will use the brokenness for something more valuable. But if he doesn’t want it to break, nothing you do will break it. You can’t screw this up if God has plans for it to happen.
Here’s what I’m learning, my God is FOR me, not AGAINST me (Romans 8:31). He delights in every detail of my life (Psalm 37:23), and I no longer have to fear a single thing falling apart, crashing down, happening or not happening, in my life. If it breaks, it’s for a purpose. If it changes, it’s for a purpose. If it’s cancelled, it’s for a purpose. And that purpose is a good one. It aligns with his good plans for me, to prosper me, not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). But if the plans stand, if it happens, if it all comes together, if it goes charmingly well, then that was also the result of a powerful God in the details of my life who said that was best, so it went unbroken.
If he doesn’t want it to break, honey it won’t break. If he allows it to break, it’s for a greater purpose.