Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Broken Toys: Letting go of the pain

Saturday. The day to clean the bedrooms. Although my girls usually clean their own rooms, sometimes I like to go in and help them do a more thorough cleaning. Together, we go through drawers, toy baskets, and shelves to get everything back in order again. Undoubtedly, we must always deal with broken toys. I used to keep the broken pieces, thinking I could repair or replace the broken part. If it was irreparable, I would still hold onto the toy; surely it could still be enjoyed without the missing pieces.
Awhile back my thinking changed. Now, if a toy is broken beyond repair or missing so many pieces it has been rendered useless, I throw it in the trash bag. I've used this method a few times and noticed their room is starting to be less cluttered and more fun. I even noticed my girls are less stressed taking care of their room as they have less stuff surrounding them. I also thought, after we finished cleaning their room, this method makes more room for new toys.
As I stuffed some torn dress-up fairy wings into the trash bag this past Saturday, I wondered how many broken pieces we are holding on to in our own lives.
Overlooked for a job promotion.
Criticized by a friend.
Can’t relate with your children.
Unable to make your house payment.
Diagnosed with cancer.
Argued with your spouse.

I don’t know what broken pieces you have in your life, but I know we all have them because we live in a broken world. We stuff our broken pieces on the shelves of our hearts and minds; we pretend that someday we will repair them or maybe we can still use them as they are.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7-8 NIV).
I threw the broken toys in the trash; likewise, we need to throw our broken emotional pieces. We don't throw them in the trash but at the feet of Jesus. Cast them on Him. We stop thinking we can fix them and trust that He can and will because He cares for us.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5 TNIV).
And besides, you never know, God might have something better, something new and fresh, waiting to fill that spot on your shelf once you throw away the broken pieces.

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