The Necessary Shattering

You may or may not have caught the undercurrent in my Wednesday book discussion posts on the Bob Sorge book that we’re studying. But in case you didn’t, I’ll just tell you that this book has mostly made me angry. Not because I dislike Bob Sorge, but rather because the truth that he tells, though true, has not been my favorite thing to hear. But this week, I found what I think is my favorite excerpt so far.

“God did not create pain and sickness in order to cultivate maturity in His people. Sickness and pain are products of sin and the curse. God is the Master Redeemer, however, and He redeems evil circumstances, causing them to further His purposes.” (Bob Sorge, “The Fire of Delayed Answers)

We have all been through stuff that isn’t so pretty. Things that have made us say, “Why?!” or “Why me?!” or “Why now?!” or “God, what are You doing?! Where are You?! Have You forgotten me?!” Oh, some of us may be too holy to say it aloud. But I dare say that most of us have felt this at some point.

I have a very clear memory of an example from my own life – a story that you may have heard before. I was on my way home one night from delivering a cake to some friends for Christmas when I was in a wreck. It was unexpected, terrifying, and painful. I still cringe to think of that night, in the rain, on the side of the road, in horrible pain, and going into shock. And the emotions and doubts that followed. And the shattering of this belief I’d somehow – in spite of the pain and abuse of my past – held onto for years, that following God immunizes and excludes us from pain. It was a hard lesson to learn. And a few years later, when I was hit by a man, I also learned that being a Christ follower doesn’t exclude me from abuse.

Through those two instances and many, many others, there was a shattering in me. But it was a necessary shattering.

In my Dad’s house, he’s in charge of the TV remote, and what he wants to watch is what gets watched in his house. And this past week, while I was visiting him, one of those things he was watching was a show about prospectors. Prospectors are those people who take heavy, metal tools like axes and picks and chisels, and break into rocks to dig out those stones that are precious. On the top, you have dirt. Below that, you have rock. And deep inside – where you have to work and dig and shatter the rock to get into – you have precious stones.

The shattering in me is necessary to find what’s precious inside.








The shattering is a horrible experience. It’s painful and scary and confusing. But it’s necessary.

And the thing I most needed to be reminded of today from Mr. Sorge was that God didn’t create the pain and the sickness. But He’s big enough and good enough and powerful enough to use it when it happens.

God didn’t cause my wreck. He didn’t cause the man to ball up his fists and hit me. But because those things happened – because there was a shattering in my life – God knows exactly how to reach into the cracks, remove the precious stones, and heal me in the process.

This post is part of a weekly discussion on Bob Sorge’s book, “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” You don’t have to read the book to participate in the discussion, but if you did write a response to this week’s chapter, please feel free to link it up at the widget below. Also, check out my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen’s thoughts on this week’s post, as well as the posts of the other participants that you’ll find linked up in the widget. 

About Sarah Salter


  1. Good word there Sista Sarah…I understand it….And I totally agree.

  2. The redemptive, well of Him is our undeserved and unhampered privilege as sons and daughters. Parched lips and hands reach out to us every day-beggers-angry with the dusty drought of the world’s cup. Thank you for lowering the bucket down and hauling it back up.

    “It is *well with my soul.” 😉

    Amy W.

    “She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed.”

  3. I’ve both felt it and said it out loud. I know God’s not afraid of our honesty with Him. He can work in it, correct us, and reveal Himself. Great example, Sarah. So glad there is nothing beyond His redemptive reach.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Amy! Love you, my friend!

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, we’ve talked about before that I was raised to never show anybody when something was wrong. Gotta be a perfect preacher’s kid, ya know. So, it hasn’t always been easy to be real with God. But guess what? It’s getting easier and easier every day. 🙂

  6. Just got into Sorge’s book…on chapter 4. In fact am going to purchase a few copies to give away. And have been quoting and posting on my fb wall some of the quotes from the book. As one shattered woman to other…I needed to read this book. Good post, good thoughts.

  7. I’ve been on a break from blogging but I’ve missed these posts! I can’t wait to link up next week.

    This book is helping me see the painful circumstances in my life in a new way. It’s bringing freedom to realize that God really can make beautiful things out of the ashes of our despair.

    Sorge is also helping me to understand people in the Bible in an entirely new way. They were through some really horrible things and yet we consider them blessed by God. Following God doesn’t mean sunshine and roses, it means a hand holding ours through the storm. God shatters our plans, interrupts our dreams and changes US.
    He did that to Mary. She’s been on my mind lately- I guess because it’s Christmas.

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Betty, THANK YOU! I appreciate you so much! I’m glad Sorge’s book is speaking to you. 🙂

  9. Sarah Salter says:

    TC, I always think a lot about Mary at Christmas, too. She was shattered multiple times. And the Bible doesn’t tell us “the rest of the story” about her. I’m looking forward to getting to Heaven and learning that. 🙂

    Good to see you, Sister!

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