I don’t know how many times in my life I thought I’ve dealt with something only to have it raise its ugly head years later. I’m starting to realize that we don’t always understand the extent of the damage done at the moment of impact. For example, we recently experienced hurricane Sally. It was a strong cat 2 and moved at the painstaking speed of 2 mph and dumped 18inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Fences were knocked down, trees uprooted, roofing was removed, and the landscape was flooded. We went out the next morning to assess the damages and began making repairs. There were items that needed to be addressed right away, and then there were things that could wait. We propped up the fences to keep our dog in and proceeded to fix other things we needed to. Then life happened. School, sports, jobs, family, holidays, all of these things took precedence and the propped-up fence went on hold.
I think this is similar to the storms that hit our lives as well. We deal with it as best we can in the moment. We prop ourselves up to the best of our abilities so we can “keep the dog in” and move on with life because as we know life doesn’t stop because our fence is down. We forget that it was supposed to be a temporary fix, just to get us through the rough time and instead of going back and fixing it correctly we expect the propped up fence to function like it’s not broken. Or maybe we truly fool ourselves into believing that we did fix it and it’s good enough. But God in His compassion and kindness casually walks by and removes the brace holding that fence up and suddenly we are staring at the ugliness we thought for sure we had dealt with. Sometimes that ugliness is our sin that we thought we had conquered, or maybe it’s a tragedy that happened, either way it’s not something we wanted to face yet again. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty good at grabbing that brace and propping my fence back up. It works, it’s comfortable and familiar and easier than going and looking to see what is truly broken. You see, a lot of the posts that held the fences up still looked good. Sure, they were leaning but above the surface they looked fine. It’s not till you start digging that you find out that the post broke under the surface. Now you have to remove the old broken post and replace it with a new one and reattach the fencing to the new post that has now been firmly concreted in place. That’s a lot harder than grabbing a brace and leaning it up against the fence. I’m also slowly starting to realize that God has two ways of removing our braces. Sometimes it’s when we are in a sunny place in our lives and feel like we can conquer the world that He reminds us we have some work that needs to be done. Then there are times He brings another storm to show us areas we thought were good enough. Either way is painful and hard, but the work does have to be done eventually. I’ve done the work at times and re-built my fence only to find out that when a storm hit, I was looking at ugly all over again. I find myself asking why and questioning God on how come I can’t seem to overcome this and start digging again only to find another broken post. Sounds depressing right? It can be, until you realize that you aren’t alone and that it’s not your responsibility to fix it. Our job is to recognize we are broken and in need of help. I’m starting to realize that there are uglies that I will continue to face probably for the rest of my life but I’m also starting to realize that I don’t and can’t face them alone. Healing will only start once I let Him help me. As we fight through struggles and hurts God is literally on His knees besides us digging in the dirt, He wants to be the one lifting the broken poles out of our life, and He wants to re-build what we in arrogance thought we could do by ourselves. Once we stand back and see what He has accomplished in our life there is a feeling of joy. That somehow, He has taken our brokenness and made it something beautiful and functional. Is it perfect? Will it never crack, sway, or break again? Absolutely not! Not on this side of Heaven anyways. But will it be stronger, will it be less painful, will there be a sense of healing? Absolutely.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We need to accept our brokenness, for only then will we find the healing and the peace we are so desperately looking for. Now just in case you are curious my fence has scars from the hurricane and will never look the same. It’s never going to be a new fence or function like a fence that hasn’t withstood a hurricane. And as my very wise daughter tells me, “Mom those are your scars from your fight. You should be proud of them because they have made you who you are.” Let’s embrace our scars and brokenness. Let’s let God come along side us and share our pain, frustration and sorrow. He already knows all about them so why do we try to keep Him at a distance? Let’s stop hiding and propping ourselves up with lies that we are “ok” and start addressing the uglies in our lives. It will be hard and we’ll get dirty but the end result will be worth it. Let’s trust God that He will do what He has promised. Psalms 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Notice it doesn’t say He removes the wounds but He binds them, bandages them up. It’s a healing process not a removal of the damage.