Blessed Holiness in a Broken World

Inside a cramped cinder block room, with a dirty table and uncomfortable chairs, a lady sat across from me. She wore an unflattering neon orange jumpsuit, chains wrapped around her waist, ankles, and hand cuffs on her wrist.  She had tears filling up her eyes and she couldn’t wipe them away, so she finally just let them fall.  My eyes were locked on her to let her know that I wasn’t going anywhere, her story wasn’t making me cringe or judge her, that I was willing to listen, and I was there to help.  She was telling me the horrors of her life since she was ten years old and became a victim of human trafficking.  It was a tense and emotional two and a half hours of heart breaking story telling. 

This is what my job looks like on a day to day basis.  After working in the criminal justice system as a counselor for years now, I am “used” to seeing inmates in this type of environment.  The stories are all too familiar, filled with horrors and heart break.  And after each evaluation, I walk to my car, put my sun glasses on, and let the tears fill my eyes and fall. 

The world is filled with events, moments, and circumstances that are unfortunate, emotional, chaotic, and many of them are just plain evil.  And if you’re anything like me, the constant barrage of these events on the news, videos on social media, stories I encounter with the clients I work with, and situations that have played out in my own life, can make it difficult to comprehend God’s role in all of it. 

Psalms 103 is a psalm (or song) of King David.  He was a worshipper and thankfully his songs and poems were the journal entries of his life and all he encountered and endured.  It is comforting to me to have these songs and poems in the Bible that express the real and raw emotion that comes in life.  This particular psalm opens up with:

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.”
(Psalm 103:1 NASB)

Have you ever been in a situation when all that is within you DOES NOT want to bless God’s holy name?  Are you in a situation like that right now?  Are you overwhelmed with the state of the world or the state of your life? 

The word “holy” is Hebrew and is defined at “set apart and sacred; being separate.”  It seems a dichotomy that God is near to me (Jeremiah 23:23), and yet He is separate.  If God is powerful (Jeremiah 10:12), mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1, Zephaniah 3:17), and loving (1 John 4:8), why is the world in such a mess?  Why did these things happen in my life that shattered my heart? Why is there war, famine, human trafficking, abuse, fill-in-the-blank-with-all-the-problems-of-the-world?  These are the questions that human kind wrestles with regularly.   

The only way that I can walk into my job every day after years of doing it with a mission of hope, is because God is holy.  Because God is set apart.  My finite, human brain cannot comprehend the infinite big-ness of God and the truths of His sovereignty, power, and holiness.  But it brings me peace knowing that God is not of this world, and therefore He is separate.  It brings me peace knowing that this gigantic mess of a place was not His original plan.  Him being set apart allows me to make a decision to follow Him and His ways rather than this tangled chaos of culture, opinions, and selfishness.  God being set apart means His ways are different (Isaiah 55:9) and His ways lead to order and structure in world of constant turmoil.  His ways lead to peace and hope in a world feeling depressed and anxious.  God being separate from this world and knowing He is different allows me to develop the faith to put my trust in Him.     

When I come to the realization that God is set a part and He is different from this world in correlation to Him being all-powerful, mighty to save, and loving; it makes sense that He can take my heart aches, problems, afflictions, the problems of this world, and use them for something that becomes good.  Nothing that God allows me to go through is pointless; because He will use it to draw me closer to Him, which provides peace, healing, and direction rather than fear, hurt, and confusion.  Because He is different.  Those things that harmed me and were meant to destroy me begin to teach, grow, and refine me, rather than define me.  And when I am defined by God, who is different from this world, I too become set apart.  As I become set apart for Him, His light shines to the world filled with heart ache, brokenness, depression, anxiety, evil, confusion, and chaos.  And when His light shines through His people, more people come to know Him. He can take their pain away, heal them, use their past for good, and the Light of Jesus continues to shine brighter. 

It is when I enter into this relationship with God, that I can see the world for what it is, but even more importantly, I can see God for who He is.  I can worship with David, saying, “All that is within me, Bless His holy name.” He is set apart.  He is different than this world, and He is good, powerful, mighty to save, and He loves me.  I can worship Him even though my heart breaks for what happens in this world.  And I can show up every day with a mission of hope, shining His light and love to a world that desperately needs Him. 

Sweet friend, do you have this relationship with Jesus?  Can your soul bless His holy name?  Take some time today singing your praises to Him. 

Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little _ tyrants ͟ whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: