Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Broken Beyond Repair? Too Lost to Be Found? Maybe or Maybe Not!

Oops! O, NO! ... Did you ever have something just slip out of your hands, crash to the floor and break into a gazillion pieces?

Did you ever do something so incredibly stupid that something is broken or someone is hurt in some life-changing way and it happened all in a moment? "OOOOOOO, NO!"

Did you ever get distracted for "just a second" and find something broken beyond mending just because you lost your concentration?

Did you ever lose something very valuable - never to be seen again - all because you failed to put it in a safe place?

Well, sorry to say, I've done all of these things and lots more. The end of the story in every case is exactly the same and equally sad - brokenness! Sometimes brokenness is "fixable" and sometimes not but brokenness never really goes away once it happens - not in this life.

Once long ago in just a second of tiredness coupled with haste my beautiful, huge cut glass punch bowl slipped through my soapy hands and cracked in two in the bottom of the sink. In that case, I found a master craftsman who could glue the punch bowl back together. I used it for years before it cracked again, but the crack was always there even if it was "fixed" so it didn't leak.

Once, just once, very long ago I had a beautiful ring, an heirloom. It was hot in our 4th floor walk-up apartment in Atlanta, GA that August evening. There was no air conditioning so the door to our little apartment was standing open to catch any flutter of a breeze. The apartment was only two small rooms. I took that beautiful ring off and laid it on the dresser in the most inside room. I'm sure that's what I did! I never saw the ring again. I don't know what happened to it. No amount of searching ever turned up that gorgeous ring - it is gone forever!

My grandfather lost both his legs in a freak accident with a gun. Being a careful man, I'm sure there were many moments over the years when he wished he had never borrowed that gun with an altered chamber and certainly never failed to check if it were entirely unloaded. But that didn't give him his legs back. That didn't change the next 55 or so years Granddaddy walked on artificial legs either. But, that particular brokenness (losing both legs in a depressed economy with a wife and four children and then losing home, business, and almost every possession in the aftermath of the accident), brought a wholeness of heart to both my grandparents they never would have had otherwise!

Brokenness and loss comes to us all. It is the "what happens next" that makes all the difference!

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

Different "thieves" sneek in under cover of night into people's lives. Sometimes the thief is pain or chronic illness. Sometimes the thief is heartache and loss so severe it takes one's breath away. Sometimes the thief is an accident or loss of some other kind. Brokenness wears many masks, and all of them are scary!

And the life pattern for life in this world is brokenness! Nothing is fixed! Nothing is ever like God intended it to be in the beginning! And there is only one Fix!

God - in His great love - for broken people in a broken world made a Way for broken lives to be mended, healed and restored. God's Way is Jesus! He said it, "I came that they (you and me) can have life and have it abundantly!" (John 10:10)

Broken lives, broken hearts, broken relationships can all be mended, healed and restored by Jesus!

Actually we have Easter to remind us of brokenness - brokenness beyond repair, brokenness beyond the lost being found, brokenness beyond healing. BUT the wonderful message of Easter is not brokenness. The wonderful message of Easter is that God sent Jesus to make all things new - to bring healing and hope and health and life! God sent Jesus to find the lost and broken and restore us all! That's the Gospel! That's the wonderful message of Easter!

AND that's exactly why there is a new Restoration Church gathering in the South Hills of Pittsburgh! That's what we are all about - brokenness and loss in many forms and finding God's restoration and healing! If that sounds like what you need, come gather with us!

No comments: