Brokenness Is His Specialty

15 March 2023

4.9 MINS

Yes, we are all broken, but we have a God who specialises in dealing with this.

We are all broken people. We are all wounded. We are all hurting. We are all messed up. While this is true for all of us, many will try to deny it, cover it up, put on a brave face, or lash out to protect themselves. There are so many wrong ways that we seek to deal with our brokenness and hurt.

Some folks will pretend they are fully independent and have it all together and do not need the help of others. They are just kidding themselves. I know people like this. All their life they lived as someone who could solve their own problems, get along without the help of others, and be seemingly altogether independent.

But old age or something else will catch up with them and they lose much of their independence and they will start to really have to depend on others for their care and well-being. That can be a real shock to the system. They finally come to realise that they are not all that self-sufficient and they do not have it all together.

Others however know full well what a basketcase they are. They do not hide their brokenness and rejection and pain. They know they are miserable and feel unwanted and unloved. Again, many can respond wrongly to this: alcoholism, drug or porn addictions, anger and hatred of self and others, and so on.

We all have these hurts and feelings of rejection. How we deal with them is crucial. With all this in mind, let me share something someone had put on the social media. I assume it is basically accurate. It is a moving piece, and we of course can get so many spiritual lessons from it. It goes like this:

Every once in a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are lots of reasons she may do this. If the shepherd tries to return the lamb, the mother might even kick the baby away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind.

These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with their little necks. Their spirits are broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that little lamb will die – rejected and alone.

Do you know what the shepherd usually does? The shepherd will take that rejected little lamb into their home, hand-feed it and keep it warm. They will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to their chest so the little lamb can hear their heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.

That sheep never forgets the shepherd’s love and care when their mother rejected them. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess which sheep runs first? That sheep knows the shepherd’s voice.

The bummer lamb isn’t loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It trusts the shepherd because it has experienced love from the shepherd. Many of us are bummer lambs. Rejected and broken. But Jesus is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heartbeat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd who will never leave us.

Author Unknown

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” ~ Psalm 23

I don’t know about you, but I can always use such words of comfort. I too am a broken, needy, and still messed up person. I am still a work in progress in other words. I still struggle in many areas. ‘Bill, not you surely – not a great Christian like you?!’ perhaps a few of you might be thinking.

Let me remove any doubts: I have been a Christian for a long time now, but old wounds and various bits of brokenness can take a long time to heal and mend. For example, for basically all of my life I have had a very poor self-image and sense of worth. I have usually looked down on myself and thought I was not worth much.

Certainly, that was the case when I was a non-Christian, but it is amazing how these things can be so deeply embedded in you, that even years – and decades – of being a Christian may not be enough to properly deal with it all. As I often say, I certainly am better than I was, but I still have a long way to go.

Thus in many ways throughout my life I have wanted the approval, attention and recognition of others. And I wonder how much even today this might be the case. How much do I do to get the praise of others instead of just the praise of God?

Sure, if we do good work in anything, be it building a nice bookcase or delivering a powerful sermon, there is a place to accept the praise of others. We can take pride in our work. And sometimes we can let false humility get in our way. My old American pastor used to say that if people come up to him and say ‘great sermon,’ it does no good to say, ‘Oh it wasn’t me but the Lord.’

There is a place to allow others to express gratitude for things we have done now and then. But the other extreme is to have such a terrible self-image and be so very immobilised by it. Too many people today are the walking wounded, carrying hurts and wounds and scars that may go way back to childhood.

They never had a loving mother and father, or there may have been abuse, or they may always have been put down or made fun of by friends, and so on. And now, in their 50s or 60s or 70s, they still remember all that as if it happened yesterday. They are still so broken, dispirited, and so very fragile.

It is people like that that need to read about how a forsaken lamb is lovingly dealt with. It is then that the Christian gospel of a gentle, loving Saviour with open arms awaits us all – if we will but let ourselves be open to his love and acceptance.

I still am working on this – trying to move from my head to my heart those glorious truths of the caring shepherd of our souls. And I have discussed this elsewhere, as in these pieces:

I need to reread those pieces. I need to be reminded afresh of a gentle, tender Lord who wants to heal our wounds and deal with our hurts. And because he has shed his own tears as the perfect God-Man, he is well placed to wipe our tears as well.

Our God specialises in mending the brokenhearted and restoring the prodigal. That is great news indeed.


Originally posted at CultureWatch. Photo by Kat Smith.

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  1. Kaylene Emery 15 March 2023 at 10:45 am - Reply

    This is the kind of ‘ specialist ‘ I am happy to consult Bill……. even Einstein said ” I want to know Gods thoughts all the rest are details “.

  2. Margaret Lasslett 15 March 2023 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you Bill, I have felt particularly broken lately due to my husbands recent diagnoses of illness….I found this article greatly encouraging and helpful for my emotional wellbeing at this time…

  3. Kaylene Emery 15 March 2023 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    I am beyond broken I am smashed and in pieces. But still – in His grace and love He uses me for His good purpose. Needing only my permission my informed consent.

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