Did anyone else love the movie, Mulan? It was one of my favorites because I was a bit of a tomboy, and I loved that the girl not only saved her family, but she saved her country as well. One of my favorite lines is at the end of the movie when the emperor tells Li Shang "the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all".
The Bible tells a similar story. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 reveals Paul's struggle with a thorn in his flesh. He begs God to take it away from him, but God refuses, essentially telling him that His grace is sufficient for him, and that His power is made perfect in weakness. (Read the chapter to get the full story.) These verses are the basis for my latest short story.
Aren't these beautiful truths? God takes what we as humans view as broken, weak, awful, painful and uses it to demonstrate His power in our lives. It is through our weaknesses that His awesomeness shines through.
We see this throughout the Bible. If you don't believe me, read Hebrews 11. It is known as the "Hall of Faith" because it is an account of some of the most faithful people in the Bible who did great things for God. However, when you start reading the list of people, and remember who they are and what they did, it's obvious they were weak and broken people. They were all full of sin, just like you and I. As you read Hebrews 11, you might notice a pattern emerge. As each person's deeds are retold, they are either preceded by or followed with the words "by faith". Each person in the chapter was called by God and equipped despite their weaknesses to do God's will. God made them strong, and His power was seen and magnified because of their frailty.
Often times, we are ashamed of the things that make us weak. We hide the places we are broken. As a human, I am no stranger to weakness and brokenness, tragedy and loss. In my latest short story, my main character, Cherry, has an authentic view of grief because that piece of her is me. (To all the writers out there, we all know that our characters have pieces of ourselves in them. It's how we make them authentic.) Cherry moves through the 5 stages of grief, trying to figure out how she will ever survive after being shattered.
I survived being broken by accepting what God had allowed in my life, and allowing Him to heal the pieces of my heart back into something better, stronger, and more beautiful than it was before. Had I not had the opportunity to break, I would never know the power of God to heal the broken. I would never have understood as well as I do now, that God is good and worthy of our praise...even on our darkest day.
The most beautiful flowers do bloom in adversity.
How will you choose to bloom when trouble comes knocking at your door?