Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world — Selah (Psalm 46:10–NLT).

This morning, I opened a cupboard and something fell from the shelf–smashing into pieces on the kitchen floor.

Leaning over to see exactly what had broken, I realized it was an antique salt shaker. In my attempt to replace a bowl, there was a shift in the shelved items, and the shaker got pushed from its place.

Too shattered for super glue, I sighed as I retrieved the broom–then swept up the shards, tossing them in the trash.

But I thought I heard a whisper in my heart–a reminder…

I make beauty from brokenness.

Having recently read from Jeremiah, I was reminded of a passage of scripture where God actually mentions a literal place called the “Gate of Broken Pots,” which he says is near the garbage dump (Jeremiah 19:1–NLT). Although the verses that follow are a warning regarding sin proclaimed through God’s chosen vessel, the prophet Jeremiah, the fact that God mentions this particular place is worth consideration.

After all, don’t we often feel like the gates are flung wide open, and we’re faced with the truth that our yet imperfect, sinful planet is peppered with the shards of…







We ask, “Why, God? If You are good and only do good, then why all this” (Ps. 119:68)? And although perhaps He doesn’t outrightly answer us, He still beckons–

Be still, and know that I am God.

Yes, we know that, but how do we rectify all the pain? And who wants to sit still when doing so might make us face the truth that we doubt–confronted with the feeling that we somehow need to justify the seeming discrepancy between God’s goodness and all the brokenness that is our reality? Even so…

Be still, and know that I am God.

Okay, so--Why this? All these messes certainly don’t look very ‘good.’ How are You honored in every nation, around the world, as Your Word says?

And yet, He doesn’t hesitate.

Be still, and know that I am God.

And somewhere in the depths of our souls we hear Him, don’t we? From the shards of our own brokenness, in the garbage dump where we dwell? It’s not directly from scripture, but still He speaks–in our stories, through our lives, as imperfect as we may be.

It’s through the broken that My light shines most brightly.

And it’s true, I suppose, and only when I allow myself to get still do I righty see–reminded of those who shine beautifully, though broken perhaps they are.

Even in my own circumference, my close-knit family circle, there are several–one who’s battling bladder cancer; another just diagnosed with cancer to her spine, liver, and brain; one who was born with a heart defect; one on dialysis, facing renal failure; and another who’s severely disabled–the result of an infant brain injury.

And yet, here’s what some of these say–

One never knows if or when he may face calamity or sickness in life, nor is one ever prepared for the diagnosis. It’s at that moment, and every day that follows, that ones faith in God and in His promises becomes even more real. It’s then that you hang on to every word, promise, and prophecy ever spoken over you in a way you never imagined possible. You also discover that your family and friends–those who support you best–are more important than ever before. Your earthly eyes see in such a different light, and you desire to live your life with new perspective–believing the battle is the Lord’s and thus, He will fight for you–holding up your arms when you grow weary. Best of all, His love endures forever! ~~Testimony of one battling cancer~~

I have faced my life-long heart issues with peace, knowing God is in total control. It hasn’t always been easy, and although I know He could heal me, I know, too, that this isn’t what He has for me because, whenever I have to go through something new, my faith in Him always grows stronger. I have total trust in Him to see me through whatever storm I face. ~~Amy, born with a heart defect~~

I have struggled all of my life with a birth injury. I don’t blame anyone. It was part of God’s plan for me. I didn’t have a close relationship with God when I was younger, but He was always with me, helping me even when I didn’t realize it. My parents didn’t go to church much. Little by little, God showed me His mercies and grace through other people. I began to go to church and began thanking Him for giving me the strength to do every day tasks, things that healthy people take for granted. God even helped me graduate from college, though it took me eight years. With God’s help, I did it! I started going to church with good friends who told me more about Jesus and His everlasting love for me. During a time of deep depression, after the loss of my last remaining close family member, God came and assured me that I was not alone, that He was always with me and He even calls me by name. He lets me know He is with me. I talk to Him every day and thank Him for all the things He does for me, whether BIG or small. There IS a God–He is real! ~~Steve, born with a brain injury~~

Despite his disabilities, Steve is a gifted artist, and he always gives God the glory–saying, “He guides my trembling hands.”

Yes, these know the secret of shining despite brokenness. They’ve learned the value of this–

Be still, and know that I am God.

Oh, I’m humbled, and my questions are silenced–because who am I to badger God, really? Who of us is? And I’m inspired by the testimonies of those who walk each day, broken though they be, with confidence in the God of their salvation–the One in whom they trust–clinging to the promise–

[He] is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble…

So we will not fear when (Ps. 46:1, 2a–NLT) ___________________________ (fill in the blank).

After all, we know that this world is not as God intended–racked with sin as it is–nor is it our final home. Jesus is very clear–Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows… take heart, because I have overcome the world (John 16:33b; 33c).

So I pick the shards of my broken salt shaker from the garbage and wash them off. Crudely placing the pieces together, I then light a candle–a tangible reminder.

And as if God hasn’t already spoken enough, Jesus concludes this holy moment with an exhortation to my heart.

You are the salt of the earth… the light of the world… let your [light] shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:13a, 14a. 16–NLT).

Yes, broken and battered though we are, while there’s still breath in our lungs, we’re to be salt and light to the world. But we can’t do it without Him. We need the Son to shine through all our broken places, and He does that best when we choose to…

Be still, and know that [He is] God.

What’s an area of brokenness in your life? Have you asked Jesus to make something beautiful from the shattered pieces? He will. That’s His promise. Pause a moment. Breathe deeply. Silence yourself and listen. Do you hear Him: Be still, and know that–no matter what you’re going through–I am God, and I will use you, dear one, to bring honor to My name as I shine forth from you onto every place I desire.