In many ways, she reminded me of a wild and free-spirited horse. She resisted all restraints and balked at being steered in a specific direction. However, I could see that beneath the anger, defiance, and stubborn attitude was a little girl’s innocent heart that had been badly crushed. I knew she desired to be set free and to learn to trust and love again. Underneath the unruly and disrespectful behavior was a restless heart that was crying out for deliverance. As our group sat in a circle, there in the confines of the prison yard, her resistant spirit was demonstrated by her refusal to participate in any activities. Her arms folded across her chest was a minor indication of the walls that were built to keep us at arm’s length.
As God kept giving me little glimpses of the pain and abuse she had endured in her life, He filled me with His love and compassion for this young woman. He gave me a small glimpse of His great love and plan for her. As I interceded for her, it was amazing to see how God gave me the precise words and illustrations that began to bring down these walls. She began sharing her heart with me, and I was able to assist her in bringing her hurts to the great Healer. I was privileged to be able to pray with her as she asked Jesus to be Lord of her life!
At the conclusion of our extended time of sharing at this prison, this dear woman was sobbing as we hugged each other and said good-bye. Both of us had tears streaming down our faces as we realized that we didn’t know if we would ever see each other again, on this side of eternity. God blessed us with a relationship that was founded on Him, and I believe she experienced His genuine love for the first time.
As I reflect on the drastic change in her, I clearly see an essential “key” that needed to be evident in her life before she was able to fully surrender her heart and life to the sovereignty of God. We have had the opportunity to pray with numerous individuals over the years who expressed the desire for healing and freedom. However, we have discovered that if this “key element” is missing, complete surrender and genuine healing will never happen.
As I think about the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, desiring to inherit eternal life, I can clearly see why he ended up walking
away sorrowful. The cost was too great for him. He wasn’t at the place of surrender because he lacked this essential “key.” (Mark 10:17-27) If I could paint a visual picture of what this ruler needed, it would look a bit like this…Rather than pridefully and selfishly desiring to have eternal life, he needed to see the sinfulness of his own heart. What if, instead, he walks up to Jesus in complete humility, and because he recognizes his great need for Him, he falls on his face and begs for Jesus’ forgiveness and mercy. He realizes that his riches and earthly possessions do not bring security or fulfillment. He willingly gives up all that he has to experience the peace and joy of being in a relationship with Jesus. Nothing is more important to him than having the blessing of a heart that is pure before God. Nothing is priority over experiencing the oneness and fellowship found in his relationship with Jesus Christ. The essential “key” that he desperately needed and lacked was BROKENNESS.
Until we come to God in utter brokenness, we cannot begin to surrender our lives to Him. Without surrender, we cannot find peace, joy, and healing in our lives. Our God is a God who desires to heal broken things. Broken bodies, broken lives, broken hearts, broken minds, and broken relationships are only a few examples of why He came to this earth. Although He delights in bringing healing to these areas of brokenness, God rarely chooses to heal each of these broken areas of our lives. This is because He knows that surrender and grace won’t be experienced without a certain amount of brokenness.
As I was able to direct the young woman at the prison to her sinful heart condition and her need for Jesus, she became broken and desperate for Him. She learned that the painful events surrounding her life were allowed by God so she could recognize her need for Him. Just as a wild horse is trained and brought to surrender by the “lessons” and “restraints” used by the trainer, this woman was allowing God to break her and bring her to surrender to Himself.
As you struggle with the tough events or sufferings in your life, do you see them as opportunities for brokenness, surrender, and the gift of God’s grace? Can you sincerely thank God for allowing them or are you choosing to walk away from Jesus, just like the rich young ruler did? The choice is yours! You can choose to allow these trials to bring you to brokenness, or you can choose to walk the path YOU want to take. Your path may be the easiest one to choose now, but what will your final destination be like? Brokenness is the key!
~Cindy (for The Mullett Family)