I spent the past weekend in Spokane, Washington at a Women of Faith conference. I went with my Mom and we had a great time. The conference had some great speakers and amazing worship. There's something about singing praise to God in a hockey arena full of women. It really is a beautiful sound to have all voices together. And when that worship is followed up with great teaching from the Word of God there really isn't a better way to spend the weekend in my view.
On Friday night, Sheila Walsh was one of the speakers. Her message that night really stuck with me. She talked about how God uses broken people - despite their past, their circumstances, or any shame Satan may try to foist on them. Sheila Walsh spoke about Zacchaeus the Tax Collector in Luke 19:1-10. She stopped and focused on Jesus' words in verse 10: "For the Son of Man cam to seek and save the lost." (NIV). The definition of Greek word for lost in this verse stuck with me: "ruined, devastated, broken beyond repair." That is who Jesus came to find and bring salvation to.
I would say that covers most of us. We find it easy to think that our past, our circumstances, or our shame make us broken beyond repair and therefore unusable by God. But that could not be further from the truth. Scripture is full of examples of God using people who were, from an earthly perspective, broken beyond repair. That should give us hope that God can use us too.
I don't know about you, but I need this reminder often in my life. I can look back at my life and see all sorts of things I've done that should mean God can't use me, but they don't. I have circumstances in my life that sometimes make me wonder if God can really use me, but they don't. I have dealt with and still deal with shame that makes me think something makes me wrong as a person, but that doesn't stop God. As I keep following God into what He has for me, the reminder that God uses broken people is one I continually need.
"God can do amazing things with a broken heart if we give Him all the pieces." (Sheila Walsh)
God takes our ruined, devastated, broken beyond repair lives and uses them for His purposes and His glory.
"For the Son of Man cane to seek and save the lost.: Luke 19:10