I have. There was a time about 9 years ago that I wondered what in the world God was trying to teach me. How in the heck could I possibly be in this mess? I don’t *feel* like I’m such a bad person that God would punish me like this, so what the heck is God doing?
Brokenness: How God Redeems Pain and Suffering by Lon Solomon answers these questions. My favorite analogy is the electric wire – if the wire has too much resistance, electricity won’t flow through it. Likewise, a proud human spirit has a lot of resistance, and God cannot use such a person. Once the person is broken in spirit and recognizes that everything belongs to God and that God is supreme, then God can use him.
Looking through biblical characters for examples of this, Job immediately comes to mind. But the author also spends quite a bit of time on Moses, comparing his earlier life in the service of Pharaoh with his later life as God’s servant. Other characters such as Peter when he denied Jesus are also discussed. But the most powerful example is Lon Solomon himself. He describes that as a pastor of a growing church how his life was turned upside down with the birth of his daughter. After hundreds of seizures that left her severely handicapped, Lon was at a loss as to God’s plan. It derailed all of his retirement plans with his wife, put a severe strain on his marriage, and took all of his time caring for his daughter.
But then the author realizes God’s plan – and shows how God’s plan in Lon’s life and his daughter’s life have left them both blessed and broken – and doubly blessed *because* he is broken. Lon has a deep appreciation and gratitude for the service he is blessed to provide to his daughter, and how his daughter is blessed with all those that love her, and how God turned Lon’s inward-focus to a focus on God. The church is growing faster than ever, but that’s no longer Lon’s goal. All along, it was all for God’s glory.
This is a must-read; God speaks to us when we are truly desperate for Him, and that only happens when we are broken. If you’re in high spirits you can pray, “NowIlaymedowntosleepamen,” but if you are hurting, then you truly know what it is like to plead with God and to depend on Him for everything. Your prayers *have* to be different. If you’re hurting and wondering, let Lon Solomon explain with scripture why you are hurting and what God is doing in your life.