• Feb. 8, 2013
  • #8030

Through the history of all life, God uses brokenness for His glory: a broken hips; broken alabaster jars; broken loaves … And he can use you—broken by the trials of this world.


Do you know the devotional book Streams in the Desert?

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and if you know that book you also know it’s a classic — it is, in fact, the devotional book that I used with the girls who get me up in the morning. I keep it right near the bay window, and when I’m finished getting in my wheelchair, dressed and ready to go, we read the selection for the day.

I was especially touched by the entry I read earlier this week: it was all about how God uses brokenness. After all, Psalm 51 says: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.” Just think of all the times in scripture that God broke things in order to bless others. It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when his hip was wrenched in that wrestling match, that he came to the point where God could bless him in a powerful way. It was not until Gideon’s 300 soldiers broke the jars that were in their hands which symbolized brokenness in their lives, that the hidden light of the torches were able to shine and rout the enemy. It was only after the poor widow broke the seal on her only remaining jar of oil and began to pour it that God miraculously multiplied it to pay her debts and meet her needs.

It was only when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster jar of perfume, destroying its usefulness and value that the wonderful fragrance filled the house and Jesus was honored. In fact, it was only when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them that the bread was multiplied to feed the 5,000. And here’s what touches me … this is what I learned from that devotional in Streams in the Desert: through the very process of the loaves being broken, the miracle occurred. Something miraculous happens “in” the brokenness, which is why when Jesus allowed His body to be broken by nails and a spear that His inner life was poured out for thirsty sinners to drink and live.

And this should speak to us. Because, when the kernel of corn is buried and broken in the earth, it is only then that its inner heart sprouts and produces hundreds of other seeds and kernels. And so it has always been, down through the history of all life — God uses broken things. It seems to me that those who have been gripped by the power of God's Spirit the most and are used for His glory the most are those who have been broken: broken in their finances, broken in their ambitions or lofty ideals, broken in their worldly reputation and desires and, yes, broken in their self will and in their bodies. Today, maybe you see yourself in this. You’ve crumpled and caved in to some pressure — perhaps physical pain or a divorce you never wanted. Perhaps you are right in the process — right in the middle of the breaking and that is when it’s hard. If so, take courage from what Isaiah said in his 33rd chapter. He said, “The lame will carry off plunder.” Love that!

Thomas Toke once wrote:

“Oh break my heart; break it, victorious God. 
That life’s eternal well may flow abroad.
Oh break my heart; but break it as a field
Is plowed and broken for the harvest yield.”

In closing, I’d like to send you something to help you through that brokenness, through the place where miracles can happen. It’s called “A Thankful Heart in a World of Hurt.” It’s a beautiful 14-page laminated foldout, all ready to be tucked into your Bible for reference. It contains some valuable insights that will help you discover the miracle in the midst of the breaking. Just visit my radio page today for your free copy at

© Joni and Friends


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