I would describe the word ‘breakthrough’ as a paper-plane word. A word that’s designed to fly, an expression meant to soar, to bring about a thrilling experience, to push through turbulence and eventually glide you through to a safe landing. But in the case with paper-planes, it’s most likely to nose-dive.
Being somewhat of a logophile, words are more than words to me. They often leap from the pages and become alive. Words get character, they become personified.
A sudden, dramatic and important discovery or development. An instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity.
If you are anything like me, your eyes would have scrolled over the words but lingered on the part about achieving success. I guess that’s what I also ascribed breakthrough to be; the instance where we attain victory, especially after an extended struggle.
But what if there’s no big breakthrough at the end of a tough season? What if what we thought a breakthrough was, was in fact not the reward we imagined?
I recently came across a Facebook post from a very well-known figure in the Christian arena. His post was simple, clear and saturated with hope. This is what it said.
‘You are about to receive a breakthrough because you survived that thing that was sent to break you! #Unbreakable
I found it interesting that over 6,000 followers liked the post and plenty had the common ‘Amen’ reply to the post, but was this a guarantee? Would everyone who read the post survive the thing that was sent to break them? I surely didn’t feel like that at the time of reading it. In fact I felt the exact opposite.
What caught my eye though was the response from a guy called Nathan. Here’s his reply:
Breakthrough… what is that? What if the fathers of faith, the prophets of old, the disciples & apostles were “breakthrough” driven? I love a breakthrough… but there’s really no biblical standing promise that getting through a tough situation is rewarded with a general “breakthrough”. To the people seeking breakthrough, I say “seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness.” This is an intentional lifestyle… not something you’ve done but the way you live. THIS will bring breakthrough. Keep in mind, Paul’s breakthrough was escaping prison only to be returned; surviving beatings only to be arrested and beaten… because he understood that true breakthrough was not for his own comfort & advancement, but for the advancement of the kingdom…
Was Nathan right, could we have become a ‘Breakthrough-driven’ generation? Have we allowed this word that’s used so often in Christian circles to shape our thinking to believe that breakthrough means money after a difficult financial period or health after a sickbed? Maybe it was never intended to be joy after sorrow or gain after loss?
So what is breakthrough? Maybe it’s also the first part of the definition, a sudden, dramatic and important discovery. I guess to discover that a breakthrough has less to do with my comfort and more to do with advancing the kingdom. That it has less to do with my big reward and more to do with the work being done inside of me. It has less to do with advancing my bank balance and more to do with appreciating what I already have. Less to do with the destination and more to do with the journey.
Maybe life has less to do with breakthroughs and more to do with breaking.
One thing is for sure breakthroughs don’t always come with spectacular fireworks, for a breakthrough can also be a silent revelation.