My mind has been on brokenness lately—my brokenness. There’s a width and breadth to it that, frankly, I can’t seem to wrap my head around yet. Sometimes I think the notion of eternity seems clearer to me than my own broken down heart. There’s this disconnect. I don’t want there to be, but something happens when a man, touched by sin, tries to estimate the forgiveness of the God of no sin. How does a broken mind set a compass to the perfect mind of God? At first, I thought it was the whole, “His ways are higher than mine” thing. That’s still true, but I’m beginning to think there’s much, much more to it than that. I am a broken man. I don’t mean it in the “hang my head” kind of way. I mean it in the fundamental sense of that thought. I am completely and utterly broken as a person and the fractures in me are not just found in this sinful body that is slowly dying from age. There is a broken perspective to mirror my broken body. And to me, that part of my brokenness just might be the worst of sin’s cruelties. Why? Because it affects the way I see my God—specifically, how I value Him.
Hopefully, this will make sense in a minute.
I used to be an appraiser of real estate years ago. Appraisers use the square footage and the comparable sales of other houses that have sold close by and the principles of supply and demand to determine the value of someone’s property. It makes fairly good sense, right? Or does it? These terms of value work just fine in the world of real estate. But a problem occurs when we attempt to apply these same scales to our lives, spiritually. In fact, this model completely breaks down when applied to God Almighty. Think about it. Another crude way of looking at supply & demand is to say that we value what we cannot have, which is to say, we covet what others have. And, to beat it all, we as Christians act like this is the norm and perfectly okay. Do you see the dilemma now? God is free. If I always place value on the limited supply of what I cannot have, then where does this leave God in my life? Is this why human nature struggles so much to value Him? Is this why the world is not set ablaze with the desire to have Him? The treasures He offers are in endless supply and absolutely impossible to be bought. It’s free!
When this thought hit me, it shattered my scales. God is so good, the depths of His treasures so vast, that in heaven, we’ll all have Him and have all of Him and lose none of the value in the process. Maybe I’m just nerding out, but the frustrating, wonderful truth is God won’t fit on my scales. Maybe it’s because they’re broken, or maybe, just maybe, some things were never meant to be measured. To be honest, I think it’s a lot of both. God cannot be quantified and broken people, like me, are using broken scales in a vain attempt to measure Him like we would a piece of real estate. Where am I going with this? It bothers me to think that I cannot value my Savior properly, no matter how hard I try. I search His word, knowing full well that if I could set boundaries to Him, He would not be who He says He is. And even though I’ve sorted it out in my head, something in me still wants to try anyway. It’s the craziest thing. Maybe it’s important for me to fail in the attempt. Maybe the mystery of Him is just as important as the majesty of Him. How do I value what I cannot measure? And do we dare to give an appraisal of the Boundless One?
Rivulets of blood ran down His side, and I ask myself, what is the cost when mercy bleeds? There has never been a moment like this, a moment more ripe for a miracle; never an angel more prepared for righteous war, and never, ever a more abundant display of grace’s storehouse.
And I ask myself, how many tears is a man worth?
His grace comes to me, abounding out of a wide open tomb; His hands, feet and brow, healed perfectly whole, except for one thing—scars. They are scarred with what should have been my scars. His perfectness is marred by my ugliness. That’s when I start to feel it, my scales straining, bending under the weighty glory of a Savior’s love.
And I ask myself, who are You? Who are you, that You would trade heaven for me, and where do I find Your like?
And just like all of my other attempts, it comes unraveled again. My scales crumble and He stands peerless before me, the beautiful mystery of Him completely in tact, and me, all the more grateful for it. Then somehow, there in the searching, where scales falter and the heart fails for reaching, the holiest of moments emerges. God takes my broken scales and rearranges them into something sacred, something holy… something I can measure and see! And I’m left breathless, as He who is boundless sets a boundary to me! For it is there, on my own broken scales, that God whispers to me the greatest mystery of all. Wes, you’re worth dying for.