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Have you experienced how God can work redemptively through tragedy, difficult situations, and heartache? He may not have orchestrated the pain; instead it could be the outgrowth of a sinful, imperfect world or caused by personal sin. But, it is God’s nature to redeem and restore. As Joseph proclaimed to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, reflecting on how they had sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

I believe that had I not journeyed through a personal valley of brokenness and, thus, faced what I would otherwise never have recognized as spiritual pride, I would not be serving the Lord where I am today. I would not have been ready.

When my heart was broken my prayer was, “Lord, don’t let this brokenness leave me without changing me. Help me feel this in my heart for other people who hurt.” The Lord used brokenness to open a room in my heart that I did not know existed, and it was key to truly loving and caring for people. I now empathize and grieve with people like I previously could not. God answered my prayer to turn the brokenness into something valuable for Him. He redeemed my pain.

The Lord used brokenness to open a room in my heart that I did not know existed, and it was key to truly loving and caring for people. I now empathize and grieve with people like I previously could not.

That is my story of finding purpose out of brokenness, however so mild in comparison to the journeys of many other people. There are episodes and chapters that occur in people’s lives, some on an unbelievably colossal scale, for which one desperately gropes to find an understandable or redeeming reason. I don’t believe God had anything to do with a young man massacring 27 people in a Connecticut elementary school. The ugliness of imperfect and sinful human nature engulfed 20 children and 7 adults in that school.

But, we who remain are left to deal with and process the aftermath of that and other painful happenings. I am thankful that as Christians, our starting point is to know we are never alone, that a loving Savior is weeping with us like He did at the tomb of Lazarus. Just to know we are not alone gives us strength to look for life on the other side of the pain. Instead of feeling abandoned, we trust Him to walk beside us. Instead of descending into a prison of confusion, we trust Him even in the absence of answers we desire. Our hope is fixed in and on Him (Hebrew 12:2).

About The Author

Randall Bach
President of Open Bible Churches

Randall Bach delights in opportunities to serve the Lord, including his current assignment as president of Open Bible Churches. He and Barbara, his wife, have been in ministry for over 46 years and call it “Our adventure together.” Randall loves the church, pastors, and church leaders and is convinced that God loves to work through them to make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches.