‘I once was lost, but now am found’ (Amazing Grace – John Newton – 1725 – 1807)
Do you think about your life much or do you just live one day at a time?
If and when you think about yourself, do you consider all aspects of your life, your family, your friends, your work etc., and if you do, how do they stack-up against what you thought or dreamed of?
Is your life on track for your dreams, do you have your ideal spouse and family, are you living in your dream house or do you drive your dream car, is the work that you do your ideal job, or is it all failing in some way that you cannot seem to control?
Sadly, nothing is perfect in this world!
The world was perfect once, just as God wanted it and he was pleased with what he had created;
‘God saw all that he had made, and it was good’ (Genesis 1:31 NIV).
Unfortunately, this did not last long, for the serpent spoke to Eve and tempted both Adam and Eve;
‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God’ (Genesis 3:5 NIV).
Because of the craftiness of the serpent, Adam and Eve became disobedient to God, and they were banished from the perfect splendour of the Garden of Eden, to struggle outside of the garden, and to live their life apart from God;
‘So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden’ (Genesis 3:23 NIV).
So we do not live in a perfect world, and we that live in this world are also far from perfect;
‘everyone has sinned as I far away from God’s saving presence’ (Romans 3:23 GNB).
God created a perfect world in which all of creation could have lived, Adam and Eve (humanity) broke the world, and because of that breaking, it does not now work as the Creator intended, there is sin, pain and death in the world.
Both the world and us as us as the residents of the created world, are broken!
What can we do then, how do we change this?
We need restoration to God and Jesus.
We need to repent of our sins, be healed by God’s mercy and receive the Holy Spirit which will help to transform our lives.
I do not say this simply, it may not be an easy fix for most of us, sin clings to us and tries to drag us down constantly, or it reminds us of what we have done in the past, and the shame and guilt of our past cling to us and blur our godly vision.
The Japanese have a tradition or philosophy of not wasting anything that can be repaired, and they say that nothing is ever truly broken (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/326qTYw26156P9k92v8zr3C/broken-a-pot-copy-the-japanese-and-fix-it-with-gold – accessed 17/05/2020).
I have recently read a book about being broken and seeking restoration, and Wikipedia also seems to agree with the book, that Kintsugi (金継ぎ – golden joinery) may have originated with the Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (足利 義政 1436 – 1490) (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/326qTYw26156P9k92v8zr3C/broken-a-pot-copy-the-japanese-and-fix-it-with-gold – accessed 17/05/2020)
The thought behind Kintsugi is that it shows the history of an item that has gone through its process, and that once repaired and restored it can be even more beautiful that the original.
Even in our brokenness, God can and will use you and me for his purposes if we let him.
There may be people struggling with exactly the same problems that you have been facing, and they do not know what to do or where to turn.
Kintsugi uses a specific sap from a tree that has to be a certain age before the sap can be removed to make the lacquer glue (Restoring the Fallen – Mark & Cherith Stibbe – pp 106-107), and then either gold or silver is added so that the repairs are evident, and this can make the item that has been repaired even more beautiful than it was originally.
In our repaired state, the gold of God’s mercy and love shine out for others to see. We live in a broken, dark world, and the way that God has healed us, shines out and shouts out God’s love for everyone.
We may still not be completely comfortable with our past, and every so often it can creep up on us and remind us of what we have done, but it is in those instances, that we have to say, yes, but God loves me so much, that Jesus did something amazing for me;
‘at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly’ (Romans 5:6 NIV – emphasis mine).
What a powerful thing to remember, it is nothing that we have done that has healed us, but, in our brokenness we knew that the only thing that could make a difference in our lives, was the saving grace of God;
‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life’ (John 3:16 GNB).
So we take our brokenness to the God of mercy, we repent of our past sins and ask for forgiveness, and when we do, an incredible change happens; God forgive us.
When we think of forgiveness, we can recall the wonderful words written in 1772, by John Newton, sailor, slave trader, family man and later clergyman, when he wrote about the saving grace of God;
‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but no am found, was blind, but now I see’ (Amazing Grace – John Newton – 1725 – 1807).
So, when we feel broken, when we have done something to another person, or another person has done something to us, remember that it does not have to be the end of the story, but the start of a new chapter in the story, ask God to heal you, let the Kintsugi master repair your life, let the gold of God’s love pour into your heart and body, and heal the cracks that life has put there.
Let God mould you into something even more beautiful than you were before, let the gold of God’s grace fill your broken heart, mind and body. Lean into God, let him have all your pain, sorrow and hurt, for Jesus says;
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28 NIV – emphasis mine).
Turn to God, let the Creator God, the Kintsugi Master repair your life and make you even more beautiful!
Outrageous love, You poured outrageous love on me
Outrageous love, You gave Your life for all to see
Poured Your love on me
The cross stands tall, showing Your great love
A sacrifice, so pure, paid for me, so undeserved
Love, a mighty ocean, flowing over me
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, love has set me free
Redeemed and forgiven, I am healed and restored
That I would gain such grace, so amazed, I stand in awe
Now You’re risen, resurrected, seated high on heaven’s throne
Christ the hope of this world, Your love has set us free
His love is overflowing, the sound of heaven pouring
Rivers of living water, love overflow, love overflows
Father, we thank you that you love us so much, that even in our brokenness we can turn to you and ask for forgiveness of healing, and that you will forgive our sins, and cleanse us of our past. Lord you are the master restorer, and you show us lobe like no other. Lord help us in our broken state to fully turn to you and trust you for all things.