The dictionary defines broken as: torn, reduced to fragments, ruptured, interrupted, disrupted, an abrupt change in direction. The following are a few examples of those who were broken for a particular purpose:
Joseph, although loved deeply by his father Jacob, was sold into slavery by his jealous older brothers. It was during his bondage in Egypt that Joseph was being prepared for his God-given purpose. He was strategically placed in prison with two of Pharaoh's servants so he could eventually gain an audience with the Pharaoh himself. His God-given gift of dream interpretation moved him from prison to the palace. Everything Joseph went through was to prepare him for his destiny. He was later promoted to Prime Minister. During the seven-year drought this position gave Joseph power to distribute grain to the purchasers. God used Joseph to save the lives of the Israelites who would have otherwise suffered and perished. (Genesis 37-47)
Moses, who is considered one of Israel's greatest leaders, grew up in the palace of Egypt as the son of Pharaoh's daughter for forty years. However, he spent the next forty years in the desert shepherding sheep, in preparation for God's purpose. God will do whatever it takes to get one prepared for His purpose, no matter how long it takes. At eighty years old, a humble and rather insecure Moses was used by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, with Great Signs and Wonders. (Exodus 2-12)
The Apostle Peter was broken after he denied knowing Jesus three times, something he said he would never do. Peter was proud, arrogant and self-willed. Like a wild horse that needs taming, Peter had to be broken. God caused his denial of knowing Jesus to prepare him for future ministry. Stripped of his pride, he was ready for the Master's use. Later we see Peter, who has recovered, being commissioned by Jesus to feed His sheep. He became one of the leading spokesmen for the church and on the Day of Pentecost. (Luke 22:31-34, John 21:17, Acts 2: 14-41)
Brokenness produces true humility. Pride has to be broken before we humble ourselves before God or mankind. Once we have been broken, we can see ourselves and others clearly. True humility and brokenness can work together to bring about true repentance, not the kind where one is sorry that one was caught, but the one that says, “I've sinned before God, and I am sorry for what I've done or how I've behaved. I'm going to change."
When we have been broken, God can use us for His glory. Whatever accomplishments or knowledge we achieve in this life, we will recognize that it was only by God's grace and mercy that allowed us to achieve them. Pride says, "I've done these things,” but humility says, "It was only by the grace of God I was able to do these things.”
Sisters and brothers, going through a season of brokenness is not pleasant, but it will bring about the good that God intends. There is indeed a blessing in brokenness!
Elder Shirley Freeman
Daughters of Zion Women's Ministries