The table was full of boxes that had been carefully packed in preparation to be moved from one city and state to another. The first one on the table to be opened was the special one. Extra care had been given to the packaging to protect the contents from any damage during the long trip from Baton Rouge to Abilene. Inside rested the porcelain eagle, a gift from years ago, to encourage hope during a dark time.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint
Isaiah 40:30, 31
Taking great care to remove the packing from around the treasure, my already broken heart felt overwhelming disappointment when I discovered the right wing of the majestic bird was separated from its body. I had to fix it. I found the magical “super glue” and attempted the repair. Several endeavors only proved futile as the wing refused to adhere. Frustrated and disheartened I furiously dropped my special gift into the trash and moved on to the next box. But the “eagle” kept calling me back. I couldn’t leave it there in the trash. What was broken and apparently no longer of beauty and usefulness eventually became an object of even more encouragement than it had been. My life had been shattered and I felt that with my “right wing” no longer at my side, I was no longer useful. Yet, God used a broken “thing” to teach me that even in my brokenness, He could use me and I could still soar. I retrieved the broken eagle from the trash; it is a continual reminder to me that God doesn’t toss broken things into the garbage. He sometimes chooses not to “fix” brokenness, but rather use it to bring about a greater purpose. But He never sweeps up the shattered pieces of our lives to discard them to the dumpster.
Because we live in a world damaged by sin, we often have to deal with material things that need to be fixed. All through life there are repairs to be made. A lot of money is spent on replacing worn out or defective parts, or fixing damages caused by accidents or any number of natural disasters. Even then, there are salvageable parts that can be used to restore some other brokenness to usefulness. Money and skill can fix many things; some simply wear out.
There are broken things that no amount of money can fix. Our world is broken because humankind broke apart from God; thus, we deal with brokenness. So often we are shocked at the fragmented lives of our families and friends. It has always been so. All through the ages families have been devastated by brokenness. Surely, Adam and Eve were traumatized by the brokenness in their family as a result of sin. Jacob certainly experienced brokenness in his family when the older sons returned without their younger brother; then the lie they lived for years. We face many issues in our lives. Our families are broken by divorce, addictions, disabilities, illness, disappointments, and death. Money cannot fill, nor can it buy what it takes to fill the hole left by the death of a loved one. It is impossible to purchase what it takes to piece back together a broken heart or bring joy to a despondent soul. We would be willing to pay any price to fix whatever is broken in our lives or in the lives of those we love. We simply are unable to pay the price it takes to heal all the hurt and brokenness. We have a Father who, not only is able to pay the great price, but has already done so. He eagerly waits for us to come to Him for healing.
During our earthly pilgrimage we are constantly failing, dealing with brokenness and seeking rescue. We are so often facing disappointment and feeling defeated and rejected. So many things in life break us down. Praise be to our God that He is always there to gather up the shattered pieces and put them back together; to lift us out of the ashes to bring beauty. Being broken is more the normal than the abnormal. But we don’t have to stay broken. The price has already been paid to restore us.