The joy of crushed bones

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Psalm 51:8 (NIV)

In the school of Christ, brokenness is a good thing.

Here’s why: It’s impossible to become intimate with God unless we are broken of our independence, broken of our pride, and broken of our insistence that our way is better than God’s.

We must be broken of the illusion that we bring anything to the peace talks when we seek to end our war with God; the only surrender God requires is unconditional.

  • Brokenness is the last stop before we finally confess, “I can’t; God can.”
  • Brokenness is the apostle Paul confessing, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 NIV).
  • Brokenness is the prodigal fighting with the pigs over food (Luke 15:11–32 NIV).
  • Brokenness is Joseph, still in prison, forgotten by the cupbearer (Genesis 40:23 NIV).
  • Brokenness is Jonah in the belly of a whale, confessing the consequences of running from God, “I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you” (Jonah 1:12 NIV).
  • Brokenness is Peter weeping bitterly outside the trial of Jesus (Luke 22:62 NIV).
  • Brokenness is Jesus abandoning everything to God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NIV).

God breaks us so he can use us. We can smash our pride against the solid rock of Jesus, confess our sins, and admit our need for him; or, the stone can fall on us, meaning God in his ruthless, loving pursuit of us will break us of our pride and sin folly and independence (Matthew 21:44).

Like Jesus serving bread at the Last Supper, God takes us, breaks us, blesses us, and then uses us.

Oh, Lord, may you hear our joy and gladness; may the bones you have crushed rejoice (Psalm 51:8, NIV, author paraphrase).

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is a provocative but productive read for all who may struggle to believe that God is wasting nothing in order to bring us into the family likeness. Highly recommended! Steve Pettit, Director, One in Christ and Pastor, CenterPoint Christian Fellowship.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at Copyright © 2017 Jon Walker. Used by permission.