I wish I could find the words to explain what is burning inside me.
Why - - who wants fragments? God does. When Jesus fed the 5000 plus, He told the disciples (John 6:12) to gather up the fragments. Why? He knew He could whip up another batch of food but God never wastes anything - not a sorrow or suffering or difficulty or never one of His saints. What does God do with the fragments and how can I make this principle a steadfast principle in my own life?
The Lord gathers up the fragments of sorrow and turns them into joy. He gathers up the fragments of fear and casts them out by love that is greater. He gathers up the fragments of the shadows and gloom in the dark night of a soul and weaves them into the glory of sunrise. He gathers up the ashes of a burned out life and molds them into a crown of beauty.
King David gathered up the fragments of Saul’s family by being true to his covenant with Jonathan and ( 2 Samuel 9:1 2 Samuel 9:6-7) and found Mephibosheth.
Jehosheba gathered up the fragments of the royal seed and saved Joash from Athaliah’s murdering rampage and hid him safely until he became one of the kings who obeyed and followed the Lord.
Jesus gathered up the fragments of the shattered life of His broken-hearted mother and made them (John 19.26-27) arrangements for her care.
How can I make this my truth? I was shocked when God joined these words “gather up the fragments” with something else in Scripture. Definitely I had never seen any connection before. I wish I could find the words to explain what is burning inside me.
I have written before about what I heard, observed and learned by spending time in Gethsemane and at Calvary. The stress, brutality, agony, desertion and also Jesus suffered – more than any human ever had or ever will suffer. I think the worst part for Jesus was the aloneness. His disciples forsook Him, His Father abandoned Him and made Him a curse and the Holy Spirit left Him. When spiritual Life and Light went out Jesus was left completely and totally alone in the aloneness of utter darkness. How could His faith not fail? How could He possibly gather up all the fragments beginning with Thursday night? It was in something He said -- not only for Himself but for you and me. Pilate said he had the power to release Jesus or kill Him. Now listen to the answer of Jesus, listen as you have never listened before and take it in slowly. “You could have no power against Me unless it was given to you from ABOVE”. We all know that God preplanned the crucifixion of Jesus and Satan was a tool in God’s hand. But do you get the implication that rocked me through my soul? If “no power except” is true for Jesus it is true for you and for me. No person, no enemy, no circumstance, no sickness and no persecutor can have any power against me EXCEPT. This adds amazing power to our prayers for the Persecuted Church.
I know of former ISIS torturers who are now evangelists and Bible teachers but they would never have heard the Gospel if Christians were not being persecuted. God gathers up the fragments of the broken bones and pain-racked bodies of His precious jewels being beautified in the fire and those fragments will produce an amazing harvest for which we’ll thank God throughout eternity.
Do you see the connection? On this foundation we can “gather up the fragments” for God’s purpose in every detail and aspects of our lives. How? Well, here are a few of the thoughts that are crowding into my mind.
Gather up the fragments of: - - rude drivers and passers-by.
We frequently encounter rude drivers but are they just selfish or so stressed by what they have to deal with on the job, plus carrying a huge burden of what they have to face at home? We don’t know but God does. We pass by people who are lame, blind, in a wheel chair or mentally handicapped. We can gather up the pain and difficulty and lostness of these drivers and pedestrians with a prayer for their protection and that the Light of the World Himself will shine into their darkened hearts.
-- of our thoughts and imaginations. Where do our thoughts go when we are free to think anything? Does our imagination deceive us about ourselves? We can gather these fragments and surrender them to the Lord by letting the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) dwell in us. We have (1 Corinthians 2:16) the mind of Christ. Let’s think about our thoughts and clasp to our hearts this treasure. A book of remembrance was written (Malachi 3:16) before the Lord for those who feared the Lord and THOUGHT upon His Name.
-- of our money after tithes and offerings. When the Lord tells us to steward some of HIS money to a specific need, are we eager to experience the fulfillment of God’s promise (Matthew 6:33, Malachi 3:10) and the joy of being allowed to share in God’s projects? God can do amazing things with fragments.
--of our physical pain. Most of us have pain and I’ll use one type of pain I have just as an example. For some reason the pain in my feet from rheumatoid arthritis is worse at night when I’m in bed. It doesn’t last all night and not every night but it is quite severe and wakens me up or keeps me awake. God taught me a wonderful secret. As soon as the pain starts, my thoughts go immediately to the labour camps and prisons where believers are brutally tortured. I fasten my thoughts on one person (representing many). He is thirsty but nobody gives him water, he cannot sleep or find a comfortable place for that leg that has been broken so many times and never put into proper position for healing. I press close to Jesus and feel His heart and I press close to my brother-in Christ and feel His heart. Do I have the effrontery to complain or even mention my pain except for what I can learn as I gather up the fragments of it so that someone somewhere across the world will receive a deepening awareness of God’s loving Presence and holy purpose.
These are just a few of the fragments we all find in our lives every day in various ways. If we make it a practice to gather up the fragments and turn them over to the Lord we will be astounded by what God will do with them and what He will make of them.
Almighty God gathered up the fragments of more than 300 prophecies and fulfilled every one in His beloved Son, the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of the world.
For since the beginning of the world (Isaiah 64:4) men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, any God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waits for Him.