Tag Archives: broken

Throwback Thursday: Fingertips of Grace

Fingertips of Grace

By Carolyn Dale Newell

I could not distinguish the pattern of dots. Again and again, I ran my finger across them. Frustration boiled up inside of me, and I wanted to slam the braille book onto the floor and declare, “I quit,” but I couldn’t do that. The impact would flatten the raised dots, making it difficult for someone else to feel them. Someone who could learn braille easier than this 50-year-old woman. Besides, the vision loss would continue, and I had to learn to live without sight.

Several Bible verses flashed through my mind. They were the ones that I was clinging to through my rehabilitation process. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9b NKJV). Oh, how I needed that grace! It was more than the braille. It was this whole new way of living.

I was reminded of my life verse. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV). I uttered a silent prayer for God’s grace and strength. I made another attempt at reading the letter, and this time the answer was correct. From that point, I could feel God’s grace as it flowed right to my fingertips, and the remainder of that lesson became smoother. Afterward, I erupted in praises and thanks to God.

 

Amazingly, this act replayed over and over. I explained to my teacher what was happening, but there was so much more.

There were the occasions when I would drop something on the floor. Groping for that lost object, I asked my heavenly Father to help me. It was not instantaneous, but God always directed me to the place where the wandering item had landed. My faith increased as I saw God, the invisible, more than the visible world which was slowly passing from my eyes.

I am reminded of something Jesus did near Bethsaida when He fed the five thousand. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and blessed and “broke” them before the disciples distributed them to the multitude (Luke 9:16). The bread had to be broken before it could be used to feed so many. It was broken before it became a display of the Lord’s power.

We are like that bread. Sometimes, we have to be broken to experience God’s glory. When we are dashed to pieces, we cry out to God. In humble dependence, we seek Him because we cannot do anything in our own strength. Jesus commanded us to ask, believing it will be given to us. We must storm heaven, asking for that all-sufficient grace, seeking divine strength, confidently knowing that these prayers will be answered because He faithfully fulfills His promises.

Friend, it is unlikely that you are going blind, but you may be broken in so many other ways. Maybe it is cancer, or another health issue. It could be financial burdens. Possibly, it is a wayward child or the grief of losing a loved one. Whatever the cause, call on God. He is the Master of putting broken pieces back together. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him for grace. Ask Him for strength! It is yours because He has promised it.

What is your need today? Take it to God and prepare to be amazed.

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Jesus Loves The Broken

JESUS LOVES THE BROKEN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

Ezekiel 34:16 NKJV

She was tossed aside. Nobody wanted a puppy with an injured leg. At least they chose to drop her near a veterinarian. That is where she met the lady who loved black labs. She fed her and loved her. Broken, as she called her, captured her heart. The same way broken sheep capture the heart of the Great Shepherd.

Ezekiel is a prophetic book I will barely understand until heaven, but I do understand the compassion of our Lord for His hurting sheep

The Lord had placed shepherds over the sheep, but they mistreated the needy sheep. Perhaps they were evil. Perhaps they were false shepherds. Maybe, they only cared about themselves.

You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. Ezekiel 34:3-4

The flock had scattered, left to fend for themselves. They searched unsuccessfully for a place to belong. There was one who loved them. One who searched for them and found them.

As the Lord found the separated flock who had been driven away, He discovered some of them had injuries. Like our little pup, they were limping along, they could not keep up with the others. They were not good enough to receive affection.

The Great Shepherd bound up their wounds. They held a special place in His heart.

Some of the flock were sick. They demanded medical attention. No one wanted to waste their time and money nursing them back to health. They were cast aside, but the Lord rescued them. He nursed them back to health.

The shepherds had become strong and fat. They were the desirable ones. They had something to offer. They had it all, but the only thing they received was the Lord’s judgment.

Something in all of us can identify with little Broken. Something we share with the scattered flock.

Our Lord loves us as we are. In our lostness, in our brokenness, and in our sickness.

The rich, the strong, and the wise are not sought after by the Great Shepherd. They have trampled over His flock. They have abused them.

Are you one of the scattered flock? Maybe, you have been driven away by your family, a spouse or even a church. You are loved.

Are you physically less than perfect? Maybe you are an emotional mess. Jesus will make a message out of your mess. You, my friend, are loved.

Perhaps an illness keeps you secluded. Jesus loves you too. He will lift you up in His mighty arms and carry you.

In the world’s eyes, we belong on the Island of misfit toys. In God’s eyes, we belong to Him.

Lord God, we praise You for loving us in our sin, in our brokenness and in our affliction. Help us show Your love to the other broken ones. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Ezekiel 34.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Do you ever feel discarded? What creates these feelings? How can you remember God loves you unconditionally the next time these emotions arise?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Special Thanks to Rachael Bell for the photo of Enzo and little “Broken”.