What does it mean to be broken? The Bible says that God will not despise a "broken and contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17) and that He is near to those "that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
When I think of broken, I think of several things: shattered or put into various or many pieces (not whole), and/or unable to perform activities an object was made for (inoperable).
And what exactly is "contrite"? Gesenius's Lexicon says very much crushed. A person who has a contrite spirit, then, is one who's spirit has been crushed.
Can you remember a time when your spirit was crushed? I certainly can, and I am sure we all have such a memory from our childhood, grade, middle or high school that we could recount, not to mention the ones from our adulthood (probably because kids are really mean to other kids and don't even think about their actions most times). As I ponder one such event in my middle school days, I can still recall how shattered I felt, how alone and like I had no one who really, truly cared about me.
Why would God want me to have a heart broken into pieces and a spirit that has been shattered? Because it is when we have been broken, shattered or crushed that He can begin to work in us to make us a new creation, a one of a kind piece of art shaped and made lovingly by the one true master carpenter.
Mark 6:32 tells us that Jesus was a carpenter. Carpenters can either build something from scratch or repair something that has been broken. When I think of a carpenter, I always imagine that they love the piece they are working on and are intent on making it a one of a kind object, or have a desire to restore it to a one of a kind state if it is broken.
When I think of Jesus' hands with their nail holes, I imagine that His hands are very kind and gentle and able to sooth and calm like my mother's hands did when she caressed my back when I was a little girl.
I have been feeling broken and shattered lately. I know it's my enemy making me feel that way. He hates it when men and women are growing in God, and he is determined to break us, shatter us and if possible completely destroy us and our faith in God. Whoever said that faith is easy was a liar. Faith that God loves you and forgives you for "everything" you ever did or will do in your life is hard; especially when your number one enemy is in your face telling you that you're a phony and a liar and God doesn't love you; how could when you're as bad as you are, and how could God forgive you for this or that especially when you just can't seem to get it right?
I asked my mentor once about why I constantly felt that I was hearing that I was unworthy and unforgiven and a phony. Her answer to me was that hearing those things are a good thing. It's when you don't hear any accusations that you should be aware because if satan isn't attacking you with this kind of stuff, he's very happy with you right where you are. James 1:1-3 tells us to be thankful for this kind of testing because it builds our endurance and our patience which when they complete their work in us, we become perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
So when you are feeling broken and shattered, put yourself into the hands of the master carpenter; the one who can fix any broken, shattered thing; the one who builds one of a kind art pieces; the one whose hands have nail scars in them, the one who was crushed and shattered for our benefit. He has healing in hands and comfort, peace and love in His touch.