“Please don’t play with that balloon in the living room. You’re going to break something!”
My husband assured me that such a lightweight object wasn’t going to cause a problem. Besides, he and the children were having such fun!
Sure enough, one extra strong punch headed the “harmless” missile towards the fireplace mantel where I kept special items safe from a careless bump. Down went one of the wooden figures I’d had for years, and a corner broke off its base.
I could have had a break down, broken out in tears. But I realized none of that would change anything. Their sad faces were enough. I picked up the pieces and checked to be sure there was a clean break that could be glued. It could be repaired. And my family took a permanent break from any further indoor sports!
Some breaks are not so wonderful. Prison breaks, acne breakouts, broken treaties that cause wars to break out. It’s always sad when relationships are broken or someone breaks away from the family. I know that can break hearts and cause unbearable pain.
We can reach our breaking point, break under the strain, and someone says, “Tough break!” Spirits are broken, and friends break their word, their promises. I know when I’ve heard enough ridiculous commentary about some “Breaking News!” or picky complaints from someone who is determined not to be satisfied, I throw up my hands and cry, “Give me a break!”
There are welcome breaks, though, and those that are even fun! We break for lunch or recess. I’m grateful to the person who catches my arm to break my fall. We rejoice at a scientific breakthrough, especially when it relates to a disease that affects us or our loved ones. At some parties where not everyone knows one another, there are games to break the ice. When my husband breaks out in a song to tease me, I will eventually break out in laughter.
Our God likes to break things up. He breaks the power of Satan and the yoke of oppression and guilt we struggle under when we break His commandments (Isaiah 58:6; Hebrews 2:14). When we were prisoners of sin, He broke those chains.
But then He promises that when we are at our weakest point, He won’t break us down (Isaiah 42:3) and we can make a clean break from our past… a fresh start.
For 450 years there was no word from God after He had spent so much time telling us about His plan of salvation. Many must have wondered if He had broken faith with His people. Did He break His promise to save us?
And then God broke His silence. The news broke to Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and to everyone who was ready to break ranks with a past life. The Bread of Life had come to earth, ready to be broken so that we might live.
There is an old Christmas hymn that is not as familiar as the usual Christmas carols. But the words really capture this ultimate breakthrough, the time God “broke the mold” when He sent His Son.
Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light, and usher in the morning…
This Child, now born in infancy, our confidence and joy shall be
The power of Satan breaking, our peace eternal making.