12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12
When brokenness and trauma are inflicted upon us, it would be easy to let those experiences define who we are and who we will become. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Bible is full of stories of people who experienced brokenness and trauma, but by faith in God were transformed into children of God, heirs of all that God has promised. Here are some of the stories.
Prayer: God of the healing hand: deliver me from the disasters and tragedies that want to bury me under a mountain of fear and hurt. Transform me into your child – chosen and lifted up to live fully and freely in your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Monday- John 8:2-11
This is a powerful story, and it is unfortunate we do not know any more about the young lady. What happened next? How did her life change? Did she find hope and healing? What we do know is how Jesus radically reframed her understanding of her life in the community (not to mention how he reframed the understanding of all the scribes and Pharisees). First, note Jesus demeanor. Was he angry? Was he anxious? Was he defensive? I wonder what he was writing in the dirt. What did Jesus offer the woman – not only in his words, but in his attitude toward her. How does Jesus offer you such grace and respect? How can we offer grace and respect to others today?
Tuesday - Luke 5:12-16
Talk about one’s life being characterized by brokenness and trauma. Likely, this man had done nothing to deserve this fate. Yet, he was cut off from family and community, shunned by everyone. And maybe he believed he was even distanced from God. But Jesus does something unique. He not only acknowledges the man, he touches him. How can the touch of Jesus heal us from trauma and brokenness? How do we understand ourselves – not as victims – but as children of God?
Wednesday – Ruth 1
When I think of brokenness and trauma, I think of these two women: Ruth and Naomi. Loss of a spouse and family is traumatic in any day, but especially for these women. In that day and in that culture, they became most to be pitied. Their future looked awfully bleak. But Ruth, out of faithfulness to Naomi and her God, became the great grandmother of King David. How do you suppose her witness of God’s transforming grace shaped the hopes and dreams of the generations that followed her? What witness do you share for the generations that follow you?
Thursday – Genesis 50:15-21
And what about Joseph in the Old Testament? No, he wasn’t perfect, but he certainly did not deserve all the tragic disasters that were thrust upon him. Joseph’s story begins in Genesis 37. His insight in Genesis 50:20 reveals a maturity and wisdom that only comes through trials and difficulties. How can you see God’s blessings in the difficulties you face?
Friday – Job 42
How can I forget Job? This story is staged as a contest between God and Satan. Did Job feel like a pawn in the struggle? Do we? Yet, through it all he insisted on keeping faith with God. And in the end, he encountered more of God than he ever realized existed. He grew. His faith grew. And he became the spiritual giant that inspires us even today. How does your faith in God reform and transform your picture of God and how God wants to bless your life?
Saturday – Luke 8:43-48
This poor woman had not only been suffering a physical ailment for such a long time, she had used all her resources and received no improvement. Her life is characterized by disaster, poverty, and powerlessness. But she had this strange – illogical – faith that if somehow she could touch Jesus, her life would change. And it did! In more ways than she expected. And what did Jesus call her? “Daughter.” She belonged. She had a privileged place in God’s family. She would no longer be “victim,” but “daughter!” What name do you carry?