Sunday, August 28, 2011

Breaking Point

Reaching our breaking point. A state when, due to our circumstances, we feel as though we’re being pushed to our very limits. A place beyond anything we’re willing or able to bear. Any further and we’ll reach our breaking point. It’s a painful and difficult place that not many wish to visit. But there’s a different kind of breaking point I’ve experienced in my spiritual life. One that has a strangely sweet effect when it happens. For it is a process that, albeit involves brokenness and sorrow, brings a perfume like no other.

There is a worship song that speaks of God’s love for us. It says something like, ‘He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane and I am a tree, bending beneath the wave of His love and mercy.’ I have come to see myself, as God has shown me in visions, as an oak tree. And each trial and testing He sends me through is like a hurricane. The intense winds come in waves that make me wince in pain as my roots go deeper to support the twisting and wrenching of my trunk. My branches flail and the leaves look like captives fighting madly to get free yet still bound by their captive.

It’s never the same hurricane, some come and go while others linger. And it’s never the same kind of pain that the hurricane inflicts. Sometimes it’s a desire within my heart that needs to be felt instead of silenced. Other times it’s a behaviour that needs to be removed just as a branch no longer bearing fruit needs to be pruned from its tree. Still other times it’s a hurricane that prepares me for greater service through brokenness.

Whatever purpose that hurricane serves, the unbearable pain isn’t far behind. The sweetness I referred to earlier comes as a result of surrendering to that hurricane as my mind, heart and spirit get pummelled. There was a hurricane on Friday. A small one, albeit, but one that still left a path of destruction impressed on my entire being. One that brought me to tears while in worship and prayer with many of my classmates.

As I poured out my heart to God in prayer and praise, I suddenly felt the hand of God touch my heart and my voice began to break while tears flowed freely. He opened me to feel the yearning that had been building up for over a week. The longing and desire of my heart that I had been praying to God to quiet and guard but that He was now releasing like a dam. But just as quickly as it was released, so was the need to fight against the tears and the brokenness so I unclenched my hands that I had been holding together in prayer and opened them before God.

I stilled myself and turned my mind to wholly and complete surrender while kneeling to the pain of the hurricane. Then silence covered me as I found myself before God. With a smile, He ushered me into the secret place where I heard God say, “Be still and know that I am God.” No sweeter words had been spoken to me than in that moment and there I remained for the rest of the day and into the evening. My sweet breaking point eclipsed by my love’s secret place where I cried unashamedly. My sweet breaking point.

Psalm 119:103-104 - "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path."

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