When God Breaks You
In my devotional, It is Finished: 365 Days of Good News, we share this amazing testimony from my friend Mike Adams. Mike is a former pastor and co-host/producer of The Grace Cafe Podcast with his wife, Susan.
I had made theology my pursuit, my goal, my aim, my identity. And I was pretty good at it too. I could go toe to toe with the best, and I was proud of that. Don’t get me wrong. Good theology is necessary. But theology apart from a heart captured by the gospel is reduced to dangerous information. It’s ammunition to win an argument. It’s fodder for a blog. It’s food for one’s pride.
Something else that became my identity was my ministry. In almost forty years in the faith, I had been on the pastoral team of several different churches and my identity was wrapped up in being a pastor. I became proud of the fact that I was a pastor. Proud to be a servant. Go figure!
Then one day, the structure I had built my idols on began to collapse. The building fell with me still in it and everything crumbled in the ashes. Brought to nothing. All I could do was watch it tumble. I didn’t know what was going on, but I could feel my heart changing.
That collapse was almost five years ago. I see more clearly now what I couldn’t see then. The Holy Spirit was being merciful to me as He began to show me what had slowly happened to me over the years; who I had become. It was an intervention. I had become hard, indifferent, proud, cold… My identity was wrapped up in me and my theology and ministry, not Jesus. Grace and the gospel had become theological categories to be mastered, taught, and filed away.
Sometimes God breaks our legs and once we’re immobilized, He begins His gentle work of rebuilding, renewing, and restoring. He rebuilds and renews and restores our hearts with His unending grace. He takes damaged goods and makes all things new. He takes us in directions we never saw coming and would never have imagined. But most of all, He keeps loving us! Even in our foolishness He is full of rich mercy and grace.