I was washing dishes a couple years ago when I grabbed a thick glass cutting board that I’d had for nearly sixteen years. This glass cutting board had survived two 1,200 mile moves. But it didn’t survive the washing that night.
I held the glass with my left hand while washing it with my right. I flipped on the hot water, held the wet board with both hands, and slid it under the stream of water to rinse it off.
Then the glass exploded.
One second I had a solid piece of glass in my hands, the next second shards of glass covered the counter, sink, floor, and my shirt.
I stood with my mouth open, not sure what happened, and afraid to move. I didn’t know where to start cleaning it up.
For weeks, I found pieces of glass behind jars on the counter and in nooks and crannies all over the kitchen. I’d forget about the explosion, and then I’d find a remnant of glass and be instantly reliving the moment, standing over the sink in shock.
Ever have a relationship explode like glass? I have.
One day you have a person in your life, the next they’re gone. What you thought had been a solid piece of your life is in a million pieces around you, and you don’t know where to even begin to start cleaning up.
Maybe you saw the cracks and felt them slipping out of your hands. Maybe you saw it coming but there was no way to stop the explosion.
If only it were the one explosion, yet it rarely is. A memory surfaces or a token of the former relationship shows up in a drawer, and you’re back in the moment re-living the heartbreak, and it’s as fresh as the day it happened.
It hurts. And it keeps on hurting. The ache may dull with time, but that place where the person used to be, it’s always a bit empty.
Just like my glass cutting board can never be re-assembled, shattered relationships sometimes can’t be put back together as they were before. Sometimes they can be healed over time and actually be better, like a broken bone that heals stronger.
Other times, the shattered pieces must be swept up and simply offered to God with a prayer for help and healing.
In those seasons when your hands are suddenly empty, the most solid thing to hold on to is the relationship that lasts forever – a relationship with your Savior.
When all else crumbles, explodes, or walks out of your life, there is one strong, sure person who will never leave you or forsake you. He’s the One who left everything behind to come rescue you, to stand by your side always, especialy when you feel all hope is lost.
I’ve watched people go through incredible pain and remain grounded and strong. I’ve also seen others explode with the pressure.
The difference between the two? What the person is holding on to.
If we grip reputation, revenge, bitterness, anger, jealousy or pride, we’ve taken matters into our own hands. But our hands are empty. We end up exploding.
Those who remain calm and centered, full of hope and peace in the midst of inexplicable pain – they are the ones who have taken their empty hands and have held onto God like never before.
He’s their sure foundation. Their rock who never moves. The One who gives a peace that passes all understanding. The Unchanging One in the midst of an ever-changing sea of life.
Turning our empty hands to Him is often a daily, or even minute-by-minute task.
When relationships explode and your hands are empty, open them to the One who is steady and sure. He’s waiting for you.