I was laying in a hospital bed, tubes, needles, and probes attached to my body, and waiting on test results. First, the EKG came back clean. Thank God it’s not my heart! -but ultrasounds and CT scans came back with less positive news. Kidney stones AND gall stones. I knew of kidney stones, but I looked over at my wife and asked “What do you do with gall stones??”. “Remove the entire thing” she said, as she read down the list of all my favorite foods I will no longer be able to eat. I’ve always had an addiction to food, so my heartache wasn’t totally from the pain, but from the news as well. Be careful what you pray for.
While laying there listening to my wife rattle off, almost with delight, all the terribly fatty foods I’ve grown fond of eating and how she plans to remove them from our house, she said something jokingly that hit me hard: “Thank God your diet will have to change”. Yeah! Right! Thank God! I started to laugh. God has worked in so many amazing ways in my life when it has come to addictions. When I was a pack-a-day smoker, and had tried every possible thing to quit, He delivered me from that addiction in 2 months using nothing but some mint flavored lifesavers. When I nervously and chronically bit my fingernails, He woke me up one day free of that chain. When I was addicted to money, and work, and continually chose those things over my family, He sent His own voice down to save me from destruction. And by now it’s occurring to me that for the past year or so I’ve been praying to God to deliver me from my addiction to food. Friends, be careful what you pray for.
Be careful what you pray for because our God is in the business of working miracles, and truth is in God’s eyes we’re all just one miracle away from being whole- but before He can make us, He first has to break us. And that’s where I was, laying broken in a hospital bed before God. We read in Mark chapter 14 verse 3 that “While Jesus was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman,” and this is the sinful woman that we know from Luke’s Gospel, this sinful woman comes in, “With an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume.” So she’s got this incredibly expensive perfume and in the next part of the verse says this, “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head.” She broke the jar and poured.
Literally a few pages later in my bible we see this symbolism again. Jesus is having His last meal. He’s gathered together with His closest friends. He knows what is coming that He’s going to give His life on the cross. This is how Mark tells the story. Same chapter verse 22, “As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then, He broke it into pieces and gave it to His disciples, saying, take it, for this is my body. And He took a cup of wine and He gave thanks to God for it, and He gave it to them and they all drank from it. And he said to them, this is my blood which confirms the covenant between God and His people.” He said “it is poured out as a sacrifice for many” It’s broken and it is poured. My body is broken for you, and my blood is poured as a sacrifice. My jar is broken, and my perfume poured as a sacrifice, as a form of worship. This is all of me. Take it.
And so while I may be laying there in pain physically, I am rejoicing on the inside because God has heard my prayers. As I lay there with tubes and needles, I’m worshiping His Holy name. Jesus, this is all of me laying here, broken, and my heart poured out for you. Take all of me. Take it as a sacrifice to you. I prayed for a miracle and You heard my prayers. Praise God! I’m coming to you, Jesus. Break my body. Break my sin. Break me so that I could serve you, Jesus, with all of my life. I surrender it completely to you.
The Gospel is an invitation to come and die. Die to yourself today so that Jesus can live through you. You see, when the sinful woman broke open the jar, she poured it all out symbolizing, “I’m giving you my whole life.” Broken and poured. When Jesus’ body was broken, it was broken for you and it was broken for me. His blood was poured out that our sins might be forgiven. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” I believe that this doesn’t just refer to a ritual, that this refers to let our lives be broken and poured out that we can serve Jesus with all of our heart
So be careful what you pray for because He can make us, but He first has to break us. What is your prayer today? Are you willing to be broken and poured out?