• Karen Pennington

From Breakdown to Breakthrough

I am really good at breaking things. I'm kind of a klutz. I wish I wasn't. But the truth is, there are some things in life that need to break. Sometimes that's the only way for things to get better.


Has anyone out there ever worked a job that you absolutely hated, but you cling to it for dear life, because it's the only way you know how to pay the bills? I've been there, and I've also lost that job. As critical as the prospect of unemployment seems at the time, it often opens a pathway to better job opportunities, even a better life, that we would never even consider had we been able to remain in our comfortable misery.


Has anyone ever needed surgery? That involves a whole lot of cutting, ripping, breaking and all kinds of other gross medical stuff that I do not care to discuss. And yet not only is it usually necessary. It tends to produce better things in the body. It takes that cutting and breaking to lead to healing.


Has anyone ever been in a relationship that sucked the very life out of you? Sometimes it would be best to break all relations with a person, forgive where needed, and move off in separate directions. In some cases, a breakdown of bad habits, communication, and false assumptions can set the stage and help lay the framework for a more fruitful relationship. My own marriage had to be broken down to the very bone in order for God to reframe and rebuild it into some stronger and better.


And don't even get me started on childbirth.... I will say this this though. In preparation for the birth of our own child, we learned the idea of "pain with a purpose." That's what labor pains are.


Here's a scientific fact: nothing on earth grows and multiplies without first being torn or split in some way. Genetically speaking, meiosis and mitosis, both means of cellular reproduction, require a splitting of cells before they multiply. When we work out, it's the muscle tearing that allows for rebuilding and 'buffing up.' A man and a woman must in a sense first break away from their own families in order to united with one another to grow their own family, and a baby must break away from the mother's womb in order to grow.


In John 12:24 (CEB), Jesus puts it this way:


"I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit."


I challenge you to find a single case of significant, life-changing breakthrough that did not include challenges and heartache as part of the process. Our very lives in Christ begin when we die to those self-centered notions that once ruled us.


Life can hurt, but in Christ it is all pain with a purpose. You may be going through something difficult right now. It may even be breaking you. But when we lean into God, that breakdown may be the very foundation for the breakthrough that God wants to bring in your life.

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