The other day my favorite sugar bowl lid slipped from my fingers, fell to the floor and broke into several pieces. I love this sugar bowl. It is the epitome of the perfect sugar bowl. My first instinct was to throw it away, but that thought evoked memories of my long search for the perfect sugar bowl. It was perfect and perfect sugar bowls are very difficult to find. As any coffee connoisseur knows, perfection in a sugar bowl is rare. So out came the super glue and I began the process of putting the pieces back together. I stood next to my kitchen island and carefully placed the glue against the broken pieces and put the lid back together.
I left the lid and wet glue to dry overnight hoping that it would repair the damage. The next morning it looked like the repair has been successful. I can barely see the cracks and the handle is strong. As I survey the repair, I picked up the lid and cry out in surprise and shock. The fumes from the glue have marred the finish on my kitchen island. I am disheartened, frustrated and feel a sense of discouragement. Dejected I say to myself “Okay, suck it up buttercup. No wallowing. One thing at a time.” I finished cleaning up the sugar bowl, carefully removing the excess glue. After washing it well, I placed it in my china cabinet to allow time for the fumes and residue to release before I put the sugar bowl back into service again. It is no longer perfect if you look really close, but it is still the perfect sugar bowl. The perfect sugar bowl is a unique commodity.
Now to tackle the mar to the island’s finish. Several hours of elbow grease, fine sandpaper and a touch of wood oil and it is back to its once lovely finish without any mars. I no longer see the place that was insulted and injured by the repair process to the perfect sugar bowl. The damaged has been restored. The mar that ruffed and scarred the finish is no longer visible. The damage has been restored; it has been buffed up and the shine has been brought back to what it once was.
Instinctively, when we are broken, like the sugar bowl, or marred, like the finish on the island, we can see ourselves as worthless or unworthy. When we are hurt, injured and ruffed up by life, our first thought is rejection and that unaccountable feeling of being damaged beyond repair. We can be affected by the damage to our psyche to the point that we end up clinging to it like a child clings to a blanket. Unable or unwilling to let go of the pain you know for sure; for the unknown that is possible. Finding the way to recover from a painful history can involve a difficult journey. Yes, there may be times that the healing feels like you are being rubbed with sandpaper, or your pieces are being held together with glue. You may feel like throwing in the towel; to throw away what could be, because of what has been damaged, but don’t give up. Remember the island and the sugar bowl. You are not marred beyond repair. You are not broken to the point of uselessness. You are worthy. One of my favorite Pastors once made this statement about past hurts and brokenness. “Go buy a ladder and get over it”. What he meant was that we should do whatever is necessary to get to the other side of the broken place. Do the work that needs to be done; therapy, pastoral counseling, bible study groups. Whatever it is, do the work. Don’t wallow.
Know this; those negative thoughts are lies used to detour you from your destiny in Christ. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. God beholds you, all of you, the marred and scared included, and He sees His workmanship; a masterpiece. Just like the surface of the island, we too can be restored and learn to shine again. Just like the damaged, yet oh so perfect sugar bowl, you too are a special and unique commodity.
Don’t stay stuck in the past; get past the past. Restored and Shining!
Psalm 147: 3- 5 NLT
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
Psalm 34: 18 MSG
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”