The date was February 12, 2021. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a day that changed my life forever. It started out with a phone call from my Dad. He told me that my Mom had passed out, that she was in a coma, and was being rushed to the hospital. The news stunned me. My heart sank and immediately I wept. I had a bad feeling that the end was near for my Mom in this world. She did not pass away on that day. On that day we saw many miracles happen. The doctors said that she would not make it through the day. She did. God kept my mom alive for almost another month. She passed away on March 5 of 2021. It was the weeks leading up to her death that I will remember forever. The weeks between when she first went into her coma and her death were chaos. It was that chaos that led me to brokenness. It was that brokenness that led me before a sovereign God, weeping, crying out to the Father, pleading that he would heal my mother and let her live. During that time I had never felt more helpless in my life. But it was also during that time that I had never felt closer to God. Up until that point I was just living my life. I was seeing God move in my ministry. I had several speaking opportunities that I was excited about. I was very focused on me. I was focused on building my ministry kingdom. How do I make much of me? When my Mom went into her coma all of that changed. I wasn’t focused on any of that. My focus, my heart shifted from myself to God. It was the chaos of what happened to my Mom and the brokenness that came from that, that led me to refocus my vision and my heart from myself to God. It was the chaos in my life that broke me. And it was that brokenness that led me to put my focus on God.

Chaos leads to brokenness. That has been my thought as I study through Nehemiah again. Last week in my blog post I talked about how Nehemiah was off living his life, doing his own thing until a wake up call in the form of Hanani came and he told Nehemiah about the chaos that was going on in Jerusalem. We will see in verse 4 of chapter 1 of Nehemiah that it was the chaos of Jerusalem that led Nehemiah to being broken before God. Let’s check the verse out.

“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4

I can relate to those words all too well. On February 12 of 2021, as soon as I heard my Dad’s words, I wept. I mourned. I prayed. I think that you can relate to those words as well. There is something about chaos and brokenness that will either bring people together or it will divide them. Brokenness will lead you to do one of two things. It will lead you to grow bitter. How many times has that happened in a believer’s life? Chaos happens. Someone in their family dies. Or someone hurts them so bad that they can’t get over it. Whatever it is, that chaos leads them to being broken. But instead of that brokenness leading them to God. It leads them to bitterness. Bitterness is one of the worst things that could ever infect a human being. Bitterness has been around since Cain and Abel. It has destroyed many. Hebrews 12:5 says this about bitterness. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” Bitterness destroys. Don’t let your brokenness lead to bitterness. And if your heart grows bitter, go to God with worship. The second thing that brokenness will lead you to do is worship. This is a sign of a mature Christian. Whenever chaos ensues. When the rain is pouring. When life delivers an unfair blow. The mature Christian doesn’t grow in bitterness, they turn to God and worship. They know that the chaos that they find themselves in hurts. It has broken them. But they refuse to let that brokenness destroy their faith. They use that brokenness as a chance to worship God.

This is exactly what Nehemiah did. As soon as he heard about the chaos of Jerusalem, it led him to being broken and that brokenness led to worship. Nehemiah didn’t deny the fact that the chaos in Jerusalem didn’t hurt him. It did. It hurt him so much that it says that as soon as he heard these words he sat down and wept. Hanani’s words hit him like a brick wall. But what I love about Nehemiah is that he did not grow bitter. He worshipped. In fact in verse 5 he tells God how great and awesome God is. In some translations it says “awe inspiring.’’ When is the last time that you can say that your brokenness led you to being in awe of God?

The chaos of Jerusalem woke Nehemiah up. The chaos of Jerusalem broke Nehemiah. The chaos of Jerusalem led Nehemiah to worship. The chaos of Jerusalem led Nehemiah to get to work. The coma and the death of my mom led me to brokenness. But from that brokenness it led me to a heart fully focused on God. What is the chaos in your life leading you to? Is it leading you to worship or bitterness? Is it leading you to get to work for God’s glory or is it leading you to pout and to go into hiding? In the words of a former Pastor of mine, “As always its your choice. choose wisely.”

-Pastor Kevin