Posts Tagged ‘Brokenness


I’m okay! I’m okay. I’m okay?

About two months ago, I led worship for CBC’s middle school and high school camps. On the second day of the first camp, I decided to ride a mountain bike through the trails on the campground with some of the guys. I stumbled upon every twelve-year-old boy’s dream: a steep hill. How could I resist? A bike, a really steep hill…how could this be anything but a blast?

Well, I was right. It was a blast! There was, however, a minor hiccup in the fun. No big deal or anything, I just hit a bump going 25mph or so and flew over the handlebars, landed on my shoulder, and tumbled 45ft from where the bike stopped.  No biggie.

Once I caught my breath, we all laughed at how amazing that was. It had to have been pretty funny watching 200 pounds of man flying that far through the air. I’m okay! I’m okay. I’m okay?  Suddenly, I realized that something was wrong with my shoulder. It felt funny, like it was drooping a bit. Then I realized I couldn’t really move my arm much.

Uh oh.

Off to the emergency room. You know it’s a good injury when the doctor and the x-ray tech are staring at the display on the x-ray machine with wide eyes and open mouths. It was my collarbone. Snapped it like a twig. The doctor also said I bruised the ribs on the left side of my body, and that all of the muscles on the left side of my torso would be in constant spasm from the trauma. Awesome.

Fast forward.

It’s Saturday, the second to last night of high school camp. The pain has gotten worse each day since the accident.  We finish our first set of songs and I’m in a pretty overwhelming amount of pain. I’ve always felt like I had a pretty high threshold for pain, but at this point I was sure it was too intense to play the final set. We got back up and I made it through the first song and most of the second. The pain was so intense at this point that my body just stopped working. My legs buckled and I hit my knees. Curled up into a ball and weeping from the immense pain, I knew I couldn’t go any further.

The students and band continued to worship. One of our students came and put one hand on my back. The other, he lifted in the air while he continued to worship. A moment later, it happened. The immense pain was replaced by the immense weight of the Spirit of God in the room.  All at once, the students, adults, and band began to hit their knees. There was worship, then quiet reverence. Nobody moved. Nobody left. Over two hundred of us sat there, enjoying the presence of the Spirit, some for the first time.

It was in this quiet reverence that He whispered something to my Spirit: “I don’t need you to be ‘on your game’. I don’t need you to play the right chords or sing the right notes. I don’t need you to pick the right songs. I don’t need your talent. I don’t need your skills. I need you to say ‘yes’ to Me.”

I broke.

Too often, as a worship leader, I’ve tried to create this moment. I’ve tried to create it with the perfect song or the perfect set list. I’ve tried to create it within the confines of my own skills and abilities. Wow, what a small box to ask God to operate in.


I have already forgotten the pain I experienced that night. However, I haven’t forgotten the weakness I felt. I don’t ever want to.  In my most profound weakness He showed me His incredible strength. It is an experience I will never forget.

God, continue to show me my weakness. Continue to teach me to surrender to You. Help me to say yes to You. Help me move out of Your way.


Broken at the Feet of Jesus

Most of us have read the story in Luke 7 about a woman who comes to Jesus to wash His feet with her tears, dry them with her hair and anoint them with precious perfume from an alabaster box. I think that this woman teaches us much about worship and what it means to be truly broken at the feet of Jesus.
First, this woman does what she needs to do to get to Jesus. We don’t know if she already knew Him, had met or seen Him some other time, or if she had merely heard about Him from others. Regardless of the depth of her relationship with Him, she knew she had to get to Him. She entered a room filled with religious men, where not only was she uninvited, she was also unwelcome. We are told in Luke 7:37 that she was an “immoral woman” and in verse 39 “a sinner.” She defied social and religious customs steeped with heavy consequences and did what she needed to do to get to the feet of Jesus. We too are sinners, unclean, and in need of a Savior. Whether we have been walking with Him for most of our lives or are just coming to know Him, we need to be at His feet. And we cannot allow religion, social standing, or any barrier of man to keep us from getting there.
The second remarkable attribute of this woman is her humility. She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed and anointed them with perfume. She provided an act of service (that His hosts failed to provide-read verses 44-46) with the best and all that she had, offering her very self, to give Jesus the honor that He was due. Broken and weeping at His feet, she worshiped Him with gratitude and humility. We need to strive to give Him everything we have in all that we do. That is true worship. He is more than worthy of the honor. When we humble ourselves we allow Him to be lifted up and not vice versa.
In verse 47, Jesus tells those in the room that He is dining with, “She has shown me much love.” The last attribute that we can take from this woman is to show and profess our love for God. Psalm 146 says “Let all that I am praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” How amazing would it be to stand before Jesus in heaven and have it be said of each of us “He/she has shown me much love?” We know that God loves us, but how wonderful would it be for Him to know that we love Him back? I can think of no higher calling than to glorify my God and King and to let Him know how amazing, wonderful, and special He is to me. The idea of being able to bless Him with my praise and adoration for all He is and has done for me makes me want to praise Him all the more.
Let us be challenged and encouraged to rush to the feet of our Savior to love and serve Him with all that we have. Let us “boast in our weakness” since that is where His power is perfected and made strong. Make it your utmost priority to show and bless God with all that you have and all that you are.


The Theology of Brokenness

Our natural reaction to this topic is always guarded – no one really wants to experience brokenness but as believers, we know that the end result leads to growth in our experience with Christ. Like most areas of the Kingdom of God, there is a godly order and progression to brokenness.

1.     Brokenness is the doorway to humility.  “And being found in appearance as a man, He (Jesus) humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8.  Jesus was without sin but still had to battle against becoming proud.  He humbled Himself which most of us have never learned to do.  God does not cause the pain in our lives but He allows it so that brokenness may happen.  Remember – pride is the opposite of humility.

2.     Humility leads to Grace.  “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5.  Pride does go before a fall because the fall brings us to humility and humility is the key to receiving God’s grace.  The grace of God is amazing in that we cannot earn it and without it we will never survive.  “By grace you have been saved. . .” Ephesians 2:8.  Humility is the spring from which the river of grace flows.

3.     Grace is the reason for our provision.  “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due season.”  1 Peter 5:6.  God is the source of every good gift and His grace is the reason that His provision is even available.  If we walk in obedience to His word, all things are made available to us because of His grace. Paul said, “I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace” Ephesians 3:7.  The depth of this resource goes beyond our understanding.  “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ . . .” Ephesians 3:8.

Brokenness leads to humility; humility leads to grace; and grace taps us into the provision of God.

“Lord, lead us to experience brokenness with a gentle hand and help us to embrace humility as Christ did, knowing that His attitude made the way for the world to know You and receive forgiveness of sins.” Amen.

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