The Truth About Broken Bodies

Peyton Garland

iBelieve Editor
Published: Oct 30, 2022
The Truth About Broken Bodies

Jesus, the God-Man, is our tangible proof that fragile bodies are designed to activate faith's strongest moments.

Wanna know the truth about broken bodies? 

They were made to break. 

We were crafted by God's precious hands; his delicate touch gave us miraculous life in the womb (Psalm 139:13). He made us with love, tenderness, and inspiration, but we weren't made to be unbreakable. None of us is shielded from a fallen earth's shattering seasons, whether in relationships, physical illnesses, or emotional meltdowns. 

Humans are flawed, messy creatures who must be reminded daily to love one another. Thus, it's impossible to pretend we were ever called to be Wonder Woman, born and bred to navigate life with powers that prevent us from knowing hurt and scarring. Even still, we like the idea of becoming such a superhero, don't we? We chase after the facade that we can do it all, be it all, accomplish it all, hiding the truth that our bodies can't take the beating of 21st-century demands. 

Too often, we wrestle with our faith, wondering how pure it is if our works don't seem to meet the mark (James 2:18-20). So we believe the only way to ensure our heavenly worth is to do, be, and finish whatever makes us feel worthy. But if feelings are fleeting and our bodies are broken, what do we make of faith? Where is our worth? What tangible proof do we have that our weak bodies and worn spirits were made for the promises of heaven?

Jesus. Jesus, the God-Man, is our tangible proof that fragile bodies are designed to activate faith's strongest moments. 

Let's look at three reasons why: 

1. Christ's Weeping

Most of us know the biblical account of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life, and we know the infamous verse, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35), but how often do we consider the intentional timing of our Savior? Jesus knew Lazarus would die before He reached him, just as He could teleport to Lazarus at a mere thought. Yet, Jesus chose an intentional delay; He chose the waiting. 

In that waiting, we see a Savior willing to enter the grief of another. We discover a Lord who birthed empathy. We recognize a God who chose flesh and bone, leaving a flawless body to put on the skin of creatures who would experience physical and spiritual bruises, cuts, and breaks. Our Savior chose a body that wept, a body made for grief and heartache. 

And if God chose to weep, to breakdown, to absorb raw grief and the guttural anger and questions of the mourners surrounding Him, don't you think He understands your weeping too? The messy way you navigate an impossible season? The way you are not Wonder Woman? 

I believe Jesus chose to wait until Lazarus died so we could know He is a Savior who doesn't always fix our mess but certainly sits with us in it. And He doesn't count out a faith that's messy and bleeding with grief. 

2. Christ's Rest

Mark 6:30-32 shows us a time when the crowds were so overwhelming that Jesus knew He and His disciples must step away for a while. In fact, Jesus had a boat take them to the middle of the water so people couldn't chase them down. I believe, in His humanity, Jesus knew the feeling of being overwhelmed, of having so much pressure, of needing to be everything for everybody. But even in His perfect provision, Jesus, as a man, knew when to rest. 

Why do we believe we are invincible if even Jesus needed a few minutes on a boat, away from all the noise? If Jesus, as God, became everything for everybody so we wouldn't have to stretch ourselves thin, why are we willing slaves to productivity?

Often, we quietly, subtly, and unknowingly have a god complex; we are flawed humans who believe we can be like God—that we can do it all, be it all, and fix it all if only to confirm within our weary souls that heaven will let us enter its gates. We act as God in hopes of impressing God. But God didn't create us as gods; He chose to make us people who would bend, break, and one day believe the broken pieces are part of a beautiful process. 

Perhaps you are weary from showing up to a relentless schedule, or maybe, like me, you have difficulty saying no. You feel it wrong to rest, like you're being selfish and inconveniencing others, when you say, "Sorry, but I can't." I challenge you to respect the broken body God gave you and say no when needed. You don't have to be disrespectful, and healthy people will honor your space and understand why you can't do it all. 

If you have a hard time crafting assertive but kind ways to say "no," feel free to snag my go-to: 

Hi [insert their name],

I'm so grateful you thought of me for this [insert project, responsibility, opportunity]. However, my schedule is already filled, so I wouldn't have the time or resources to give this [insert project, responsibility, opportunity] the attention it deserves. I pray you find the right person.

Again, thank you for your kindness. 

Wishing you all the best,

[insert your name]

There are kind, professional ways to say, "I can't." And if Jesus needed a few minutes on a boat, maybe you need to say no to a few things so you can find the space to read a book, take a bubble bath, go for a walk outside, and rejuvenate your body and soul.

3. Christ's Resilience

Perhaps one of my favorite facets of Christ's character is His willingness to embrace and remember suffering. Not only does He sit with us in our pain, but He carried His scars to heaven. He didn't choose to bust out of the tomb with a Zeus-like body. Instead, when Jesus showed Thomas His hands and side (John 20:27), He revealed that He chose a resurrected body that kept the scars of crucifixion. He took His scars to heaven to remind us that we are resilient. We were made to break, but we were made to overcome what broke us. 

God loves us enough that instead of giving us an easy happily-ever-after, He gives us love worth fighting for. He wants us to know loss, so we appreciate what we gain. He lets us know pain so we can embrace healing. After all, aside from ashes, there is no beauty. Apart from hardships and brokenness, there is no resilience, nothing to hope for, and no reason to fight and overcome. 

God built our broken bodies to be transformed into warriors. And while we think Wonder Woman is the ideal fit for what a 21-st century Christian woman should be, I'd rather be a regular warrior, the kind who scars, who sometimes loses, who doesn't always know the future but trusts in something—Someone—bigger than herself to rescue the day.

The pressure is off of us to be perfect, to win big, and to carry the world's burdens. God made sure our bodies couldn't do it all just so we could look at Him and say, "I know you've got this." We weren't made to be Wonder Woman; we were made to rest, breathe, and be within the confines of a limited, scarred, yet humble body that knows there's peace in surrendering to the ebb and flow of a gentle, kind, does-it-all Savior. 

Rest today, friend. Your broken body can't do it all. That's God's job. And He does it oh, so well. 

For more on faith amid broken seasons, check out Peyton's latest book, Tired, Hungry, & Kinda Faithful, Where Exhaustion & Exile Meet God.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Gregory Pappas

Peyton Garland headshotPeyton Garland is an author and coffee shop hopper who loves helping others find beauty from ashes despite OCD, burned bridges, and perfectionism. Follow her on Instagram @peytonmgarland and check out her latest book, Tired, Hungry, & Kinda Faithful, Where Exhaustion and Exile Meet God, to discover how your cup can overflow, even in dry seasons.