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When Broken People Show Off God’s Amazing

I have known our dining room table and its chairs since I was ten. And by known, I mean I sat at it regularly for probably twenty-some years total. (But to tell you the exact number would require too much math, and we all know how I feel about math.) I did math homework there. And English. And French. And… well, you get the picture.

old chairs

Now my kids do their homework on it.

That probably sounds cool. Like a family heirloom or something.

The truth is, though, my parents got a new dining room table six years ago, and we needed one. So we took it off their hands. And by took it off their hands, I mean it was easier to give to us than to figure out how to sell it on Craig’s List or something.

I am grateful.

I am also ready for a new table.

Because this one is old. It’s rock solid, but not my style. The years upon years worth of water stains make the top look like a not-wood but not-a-color kind of color. It needs a perpetual covering, which I can’t seem to find.

When I (finally) cleaned my house today, I found myself less than enthused about it. Usually after I clean, I like my living space so much more.

But today I realized the rugs are getting old. And the couch has stains. And the curtains feel old too. And I want my house to be more up-to-date and put together than I feel like it is.

Tomorrow I have a new friend coming over for coffee. I know it will be great. But somehow I feel like it would be better if I had my house more together. And a new dining room table.

Maybe you can relate.

Because we like to put our best foot forward when people come over. We like to feel prepared.

But what if God’s definition of prepared is different than ours?

Not necessarily when it comes to cleaning the house, although that might fit too. But when our lives feel all messy, and we don’t feel like we can handle a particular purpose set before us. A certain job God leads us into.

I’ve been writing through the book of Judges the last few weeks over at Everyday With God.

Seriously. Each of the judges God chose to save Israel during that time had major issues. Fear. Doubt. Pride. Speaking rashly. Indiscretion. And that’s just the beginning.

Still, God used them. He picked each one right our of their messy lives and accomplished His purpose anyway.

He didn’t wait for them to get all cleaned up. He didn’t wait until they felt ready. He knew they were already there. Because they had Him on their side. He was all the preparation they needed.

I wonder how many of those God-appointed judges wanted to get it all together before they led their people to victory.

My guess? Approximately all of them.

Because it’s not natural to step out into the forefront, where everyone can see us, when we’re all dirty and messed up and don’t feel ready for the display.

God on Display

But we forget that we aren’t the ones on display.

God is.

And He’s really good at displaying Himself from inside our brokenness. Right through our cracks and dried on mud.

So I’ve been thinking . . .

What if God purposely chose those people BECAUSE they didn’t have it all together?

What if He wants to use my home BECAUSE it’s less than perfect? What if He wants to use me BECAUSE of my cracks? What if He wants to use you BECAUSE of your weaknesses?

What if that’s how He shows Himself off?

Does that thought scare you? Or does it free you up? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments . . .


**Join us in Judges? You can find it here . . . This one and this one are my favorites so far.

7 Thoughts on “When Broken People Show Off God’s Amazing

  1. Wow, that thought really hit home for me today. I love it, really. (and when I visit we can redo your table with paint…then nothing to lose if it turns out bad. Maybe God will want to show off in our meager efforts)

  2. Kim Dannemiler on October 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm said:

    Thank you for the reminder! I needed to hear that today.

  3. Love this, Brianna! This gives me something to think about when I see the scratches in my kitchen table. 🙂

  4. Connie Benchoff on October 29, 2013 at 11:41 pm said:

    Bria, A few years ago I decided my kids were “old enough” that I could finally get a “nice” dining room table. The one we had we bought when we were first married and paid around $200 for at Value City and that included the 4 chairs. The finest you could have bought for $200 I’m sure. Anyway – my search for a “nice” table took me to Pier 1 where I fell in love with a round table. The table inspired me to buy new leather (ok maybe pleather) chairs, which inspired me to buy new curtains and then of course new floors. Oh yeah and because of the open floor plan I had to paint the dining room, the entry way, the kitchen AND the family room. About one month into the new table I came home from work and my boys were sitting at the table like they had been doing for years, working on homework. Apparently that “nice” table I was so pleased to finally have “because my boys were finally old enough that I could have something nice” was a soft wood (not the pressed wood of my old $200 table). When they finished and it was time to set the table you could read my table. Yup, everything they had written as part of their homework was and still is carved into my “nice” table. All the money I spent on the new table project……………. well, all I can say is that I told my husband, one day we will look back at that table and remember the boys sitting their doing their homework after school. And when we are too old to remember, we can just read the table 🙂 Good thing I waited until the boys were old enough to get something nice eh?

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