Saturday, November 26, 2005

Book Review: Brokenness by Lon Solomon

We fear brokenness, as a Christian, because of what it may bring. We fear it might be too hard, or our family might be involved, which is something most of us could not deal with. What we don’t understand is whatever God’s will is for our life, He will give us grace to face the trails we go through.

Lon Solomon, author of Brokenness: How God Redeems Pain And Suffering, shows us how God can work so much more through our lives, if we allow ourselves to be broken. It did not come easy for him. When God sent their daughter, Jill, into their lives, he said he was hit with confusion, self-deception, fear, and stubbornness. And, instead of realizing God was trying to work through his life with the trial of a child with disabilities, he ran away from it.

Our dependence upon God shows, when we are hit with such a devastating trial. We either run after God and His healing power, or we refuse to recognize it is brokenness God is trying to get us to embrace. We are denying the very power that would help us through our situation. We think we are all sufficient, until we find ourselves sort of behind the eight-ball, forced to recognize we are not as sufficient as human beings on our own as we thought. But God’s Word says, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ He may bring us to our knees in brokenness, but He will raise us in power, if we let Him.

When we allow ourselves to be broken before God, it becomes a more intimate relationship with the Father. We have put our full trust in Him, in that He can communicate with us much more. We notice a new sense of closeness with God. When life’s trials come, we can rest more assured that we can leave them with God, and He takes over.

Fanny Cosby wrote 'Safe In The Arms of Jesus'. This was a hymn among 8,000 more she was able to write through her intimacy with God. How much more effective could we be in serving God, our family, and our church, if we allowed ourselves to walk the path of brokenness, allowing God to fully work His plan for our lives? Solomon states, “If God gave me nothing out of brokenness except this deep and special intimacy with himself – this alone would make it all worth while.”

Solomon states that “a broken Christian discovers a new freedom to forgive people from the heart.” This spirit of God lets loose the supernatural freedom, something we don’t have through the fleshly realm. And, this brokenness changes how we relate to the world in all things.

Solomon noted that God makes no mistakes. He feels, given the choice of perfect health for his daughter or brokenness for him, that the answer would be to tell God to le it happen just as he chose to the first time around. He feels the “products were worth the process.” But, fleshly desires sometime over power the spirit within us. He is afraid, if God let him make the choice, he would have chosen health for his daughter, therefore missing out on what God had planned for his life. But, he feels that the past 12 years have been worth the process of brokenness.

Because of his daughter, Solomon’s church, McLean Bible Church is now among the leading churches in ministering to people with disabilities, especially children. And, the Church is now in the process of developing a Christ-centered, over-night respite center for children with disabilities. And, this would be the first in the states. This has come about because of his daughter.

One our most beloved hymns, ‘It Is Well With My Soul’, was written out of brokenness. Haritio Gates Spafford had sent his wife and four daughters to France ahead of himself. He had to attend to a business meeting, and was to follow them soon. But, before the ship had arrived in France, it was hit broadside during the night, which resulted in the death of all four of his daughters. As Spafford sailed to join his wife, he came across the spot where his daughters lost their lives, and the words of this song were penned. This hymn, which became a favorite quickly among the Christians, was written only through “painful loss and suffering.” It brought about a great brokenness in Spafford’s life, where God could work. His wife was spared her life, and dedicated the rest of her life to service for God.

Solomon gives each of us a challenge to pursue usefulness and power with God. He believes we must go through brokenness in order to be truly useful to God and significant in His hands. If we allow the process of brokenness to fully take over our life, become humble before God, the end product will be worth the hard process. It’s hard for us to imagine that with our mind. But, we have to keep our eyes fixed on God, fully trusting in Him, and God will bring us through our brokenness triumphantly!

Note: Brokenness by Ron Solomon was given to me by the Publisher, Red Door Press, as a free gift to reviewers.

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Anonymous said...

"a broken Christian discovers a new freedom to forgive people from the heart.”

this is profound and true.

I would like to read this book. As Christians we have a lot to learn I think.

Barbara said...

I highly recommend reading this book. I learned lots, reading through this one.