The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51: 17)
Those people God uses most to bring glory to Himself are those who are completely broken, for the sacrifice He accepts is a “broken and contrite heart.” It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when “his hip was wrenched” (Gen. 32: 25) at Peniel, that he came to the point where God could clothe him with spiritual power. And it was not until Moses struck the rock at Horeb, breaking its surface, that cool “water [came] out of it for the people to drink” (Ex. 17: 6).
It was not until Gideon’s three hundred specially chosen soldiers “broke the jars that were in their hands” (Judg. 7: 19), which symbolized brokenness in their lives, that the hidden light of the torches shone forth, bringing terror to their enemies. It was once the poor widow broke the seal on her only remaining jar of oil and began to pour it that God miraculously multiplied it to pay her debts and thereby supplied her means of support. (See 2 Kings 4: 1– 7.)
It was not until Esther risked her life and broke through the strict laws of a heathen king’s court that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. (See Est. 4: 16.)
It was once Jesus took “the five loaves . . . and broke them” (Luke 9: 16) that the bread was multiplied to feed the five thousand. Through the very process of the loaves being broken, the miracle occurred. It was when Mary broke her beautiful “alabaster jar of very expensive perfume” (Matt. 26: 7), destroying its future usefulness and value, that the wonderful fragrance filled the house. And it was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken by thorns, nails, and a spear that His inner life was poured out like an ocean of crystal-clear water, for thirsty sinners to drink and then live.
It is not until a beautiful kernel of corn is buried and broken in the earth by DEATH that its inner heart sprouts, producing hundreds of other seeds or kernels. And so it has always been, down through the history of plants, people, and all of spiritual life—God uses BROKEN THINGS.
Those who have been gripped by the power of the Holy Spirit and are used for God’s glory are those who have been broken in their finances, broken in their self-will, broken in their ambitions, broken in their lofty ideals, broken in their worldly reputation, broken in their desires, and often broken in their health. Yes, He uses those who are despised by the world and who seem totally hopeless and helpless, just as Isaiah said: “The lame will carry off plunder” (Isa. 33: 23).
Oh, break my heart; but break it as a field
Is plowed and broken for the seeds of corn;
Oh, break it as the buds, by green leaf sealed,
Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn;
Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master,
Set free the fragrance, break the alabaster.
Oh, break my heart; break it, victorious God,
That life’s eternal well may flow abroad;
Oh, let it break as when the captive trees,
Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;
And as thought’s sacred grove to life is springing,
Be joys, like birds, their hope, Your victory singing.
~Thomas Toke Bunch
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 389). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.