Broken Up, Not Broken
From Psalm 141
Hope from Today's Reading:
"As when one plows and breaks up the earth, so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol. But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord." (Psalm 141:7-8 ESV)
This sounds like an unmistakably bad thing: "our bones [are] scattered at the mouth of Sheol." And the rest of Psalm 141, along with the psalms that come before and after it, expound on this bad situation: "Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers!" (v. 9).
But tucked within all this bad is a metaphor: "as when one plows and breaks up the earth."
I'm no expert in field work, and I definitely don't have a green thumb; so I consulted an outside source to help us understand the need for plowing. According to the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation,
"Soil can become dense and compact. Plowing also makes it easier to plant. Plowing breaks up the blocky structure of the soil which can aid in drainage and root growth. ... Turning the soil over ... also increases oxygen in the soil which speeds up decomposition of the organic matter and makes more oxygen available for the plant roots."
Easier planting. More oxygen. Better growth.
Not everything that's bad in the moment is bad altogether. Not everything that hurts you is meant to destroy you. Not everything that breaks you up will leave you broken. When the Lord is involved (which He is), the bad is transformed into something altogether good (Romans 8:28)—something that grows you, strengthens you, nurtures you, and allows you to become a blossoming vine that nurtures others.