There's one more elephant in the room that we have to address, even if everything we've talked about this week is true (and I think it is). If God knew we were going to be broken by this world and He created us to break in a certain way when exposed to pressure and time and this is not the brokenness we think we'd choose, even if it ends up being beautifully perfect for us, that still doesn't mean that God wants us to be broken.
It doesn't mean that God breaks us.
This is really hard for a lot of folks, even Christians, to wrap their minds around. As soon as God makes a plan for us to be broken, we kind of jump to the conclusion that God plans to break us. We have all kinds of narratives around this, where we convince ourselves that God is testing us. Or punishing us. Or pushing us to grow us. Or challenging us. Or whatever He's doing to us because He wants us broken.
Then, the narrative seems to say that God wants us broken because it is our brokenness that brings us back to Him.
A narrative like this one raises a lot of difficult questions. How can God be good if He's always trying to break us? How can God love us if He's pushing us to fall apart? How is our relationship with God what He desires if it comes best by crushing us?
This is a far cry from the God we see in the Garden, who walks with man in the cool of the day and tenderly knits clothing to cover his fallen shame. And it's a far cry from the Christ we see on the Cross, who carried our sin and shame and exposed Himself to a brutal death on our behalf.
The truth is, these narratives are wrong. God can plan for our brokenness without causing it. He can know that we're going to break without wanting us to.
An aircraft engineer fills the cabin with oxygen masks that everyone hopes they'll never have to use. We don't say he wants the plane to crash because he provides for it crashing. That's ludicrous. So why would we say that the God who built safety features into our design to keep us from totally crumbling wants us to crumble?
And there are other things that can bring us to God besides brokenness. Belovedness, for example, is a really good one. Have you ever heard the phrase, "You can attract more flies with honey"? You don't need stinky things to draw near to God; the sweet things work just as well.
We came to this narrative because we've been told that we have to remember our need for a Savior. We have to remember that we are fallen, sinful, backward human beings who needed Jesus to come and save us. And we never want to forget the meaning of what He did on the Cross.
But the meaning of what He did on the Cross was not our badness; it was His goodness. It was His love for us that was on most prominent display. And I think, well...I think that in this broken world, a genuine love is more powerful than any heavy burden of brokenness. If, in your fallenness and hurt and ache, you find someone (Someone) who truly loves you, that's reason enough to come...don't you think?
My heart says so.
So we have to stop blaming God for our brokenness just because He provided for it. Remember, the Bible tells us that He works good out of all things, not that He causes all things. Some stuff just happens. Especially on this side of Eden.
Thank God, then, that He's already prepared for that...and woven it into our very creation.