Last year I was horsing around with a bunch of kids and I broke my foot. I knew right away it was broken, so I just sat there, on the concrete, for an hour while the kids continued to play around me. When I finally got up and went to the doctor later that night, he confirmed….yep, broken. He put me in a boot and said to give it time, that it would heal. I wore that boot for about two months, but the bone never healed. My most recent Xrays show little signs of bone growth. Seven months later, the bone is still totally broken. But, here’s the weird thing…. even though it’s still broken, I’m able to walk, run and horse around with those same kids. It’s still occasionally sore. And, I have to consider the damage to my foot when I’m about to do an activity that might put pressure on it. But, for the most part, it’s healed. Healthy tissue has grown around the broken bone and stabilized it. And every day, it gets stronger.
A restored life in Christ is like this. A person recognizes their brokenness, seeks out their savior and then Christ’s love seeps into the bone and creates the healthy tissue that stabilizes their life. It is a journey where the broken person has chosen to recognize Jesus Christ as God’s son who came to die for our sins and then follow him and his teachings, with the goal to become more like him. It does not mean that we don’t bring the brokenness of our lives and/or the world into that relationship with Jesus. But what it does mean is that Jesus comes alongside us to strengthen us, provide wisdom and give peace in all situations we may encounter. Crappy things don’t leave our lives, but we are given new – and supernatural – tools to be able to handle them.
Becoming a Christian has been a journey for me. Heck, it’s still a journey. I’ve gone from a place where I was selfish and so focused on myself to a place where I attempt to give my life away, every day. I’m living a restored life. I own my brokenness and know that Jesus came to die so that I can be free from that brokenness, in eternity with him. I have come to know who I am in Christ, how he made me and what he expects of me while I’m living on this earth. And this is going to sound really crazy, but I get this supernatural boost to do all of the things that He has put in front of me because I have the spirit of Jesus, God’s one and only son, living inside me.
A restored life doesn’t mean that life is easy. Christians still encounter the same crap that everyone else does. We get overwhelmed, or angry, or sad. It’s not that we are safe from the evil and sin in the world, but how we respond to it that matters – and what sets Christians apart. Having a hope in Christ – that He is my savior – enables me to focus on the eternal and not solely on the minutia of today. In spite of my brokenness, I am able to maintain a positive outlook on life, even as life is hard and gets harder. In spite of my brokenness, I am able to encourage others. In spite of my brokenness, I am able to serve others. Because I choose to follow Jesus.
In the Bible, Jesus shares two rules for us to live by: First, to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind and then second, to love our neighbor as ourselves. Imagine if everyone lived like that. What would the world look like?
As a Christian, I have a hope for this world. That God’s love will seep into the brokenness of everyone’s life and grow healthy tissue. That everyone will come to know Christ as their savior and over time, develop a deep relationship with Him. That everyone will come to understand that there is a real war between evil and good and that God’s goodness will prevail. And that while we are still living in a time while evil is pervasive in this world, that Christ is the savior that the world needs.
God loved us so much that he did the most selfless thing – he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. What might change in your life, if you decided to live for Christ and not for yourself – or the world? Would you have less anxiety? Would you respond to those crappy situations differently? Would you have more hope?