June has been a month of celebrations for me.
Two weddings, two birthdays and one celebration of life as my friend’s grandfather passed away shortly after my own birthday. Of course, this last celebration was not a joy-filled celebration, but it was one that reminded me of God’s perfect timing none-the-less.
Which, I know, sounds weird… when is it ever perfect timing for someone to die? In my opinion, there is no perfect timing. I despise the idea of my loved ones dying; the idea that they will leave me behind in this world so saturated in brokenness. I used to pray that God would take me home before any of my friends or family so that I wouldn’t have to face life without them.
But as the funeral for my friend’s grandfather reminded me much of own grandfather’s death, I think about how it might never be perfect timing for us – we might wish we had more time with them, more hours laughing together and sharing how much we love each other – it might never be our perfect timing, but it is always God’s perfect timing. Of course, death was never His intention, but the brokenness and sin in the world caused it to be that way. But God is yet still in control despite how we feel sometimes.
His sovereignty catches my breath.
Heartbreak is never easy. My heart breaks when a loved one dies, when a close relationship becomes distant, when I see children who have been abused, when I see the homeless, when I hear the stories of men and women who have been robbed, beaten and abandoned, when my friend is going through heartbreak and I feel helpless. Heartbreak is never easy and there is no way to avoid it because we live in a world with its heart already broken – we live in an incredibly broken world, so broken that it seems overwhelming at times.
But again, His sovereignty catches my breath.
Lord of the universe. Lord of the whole world, Lord of the broken world. Not the author of brokenness itself, but the user and restorer of it. Sovereign Lord – whose heart breaks the moment ours does. Sovereign Lord – whose heart breaks for His people, who walks alongside those who will let Him restore their broken-hearted spirit and use it for good.
A sermon I heard recently put Peter’s denial of Christ (Luke 22: 54-60) in a different perspective for me. Jesus said he’d give Peter the keys to the kingdom, but he never said how (Matthew 16: 19). And Peter’s denial of Christ broke Peter. He wept and acknowledged his deep, spiritual brokenness the moment the rooster crowed. And it was this brokenness that gave him the keys to the kingdom.
Brokenness gives us the keys to the kingdom, if we only acknowledge and accept that brokenness within us. Brokenness is what draws us the closest to Christ, and coming to him as a vulnerable child is what he loves most.
God has perfect timing for everything – births, engagements, weddings, even deaths (Ecclesiastes 3). He is sovereign. He is a sovereign Lord whose heart aches for his children, who uses the brokenness caused by the enemy to restore, to heal, to provide a gateway to the heavenly realm – to allow us the keys to the Kingdom. He celebrates when we come to him in our brokenness (Luke 15:11-32).
And that’s something worth celebrating. Everyday. Every moment. Every heartbeat.