When I was young we would go camping. I loved it. We would set up tents, ride our bikes, go waterskiing and cook marshmallows around the fire.
When it got dark my parents would bring out some glow sticks. They were plastic tubes with liquid in them. When you bent them something broke inside. That would cause a chemical reaction and they would start to shine.
They need to break to shine.
To be honest, that’s how it often works with people too. Something difficult happens to us. It feels like we break. Well, maybe not totally, but partially. We feel beat up and pushed to our limit. We drop to our knees and call out to God.
And then God responds to our desperation, picks us up, leads us in a new direction, and shines through us all the more.
That’s what happened to Paul. After experiencing some significant troubles, the Lord spoke to him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Paul was weak. He was broken. But God’s grace was sufficient. It entered into his brokenness and started to work with power. Paul could see it happening. In the next verse he wrote: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Your brokenness is not a barrier to God. Your weakness does not mean you’re a write off.
It means you’re a glow stick. There are times when you need to break to truly shine.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.