I heard a story from a colleague at the NCEON Food Pantry recently. It was about a mom and two little boys. The mom bought glow sticks for the older boy. The little one made a big fuss in the store so the mom opened up the package and gave him one. A little while later the older boy took it from the younger boy, and he started fussing again. Before the mom could say anything, the older boy bent the glow stick and handed it back to his brother. The stick was now glowing to the delight of the younger boy. The older boy told his mom that he had to break the stick so that it would glow, that was what it was supposed to do. The story goes on to say that this is also a part of our relationship with God. God gives us challenges that “break us” so that we may fulfill the reason we were created, to fulfill our purpose. The baby thought the glow stick was fine unbroken and not glowing, just as some people are content with “being” and getting by. But God uses our brokenness, uses our sickness, the divorce, the death of our spouse, parent, best friend or child, or the trauma of the accident or job loss, even though these are especially difficult and painful, to further reach our full potential in God. In our brokenness, in our sensitivity to suffering, our own and that of others, we can better see our purpose or be more useful in God’s design and plan. Remember Christ took on our sin, was broken and died on the cross, only to assure us of salvation.