Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV)
“For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”
If you spy an old dresser sitting along the street what do you see? Is it broken and unusable or can you see what it can become? Maybe with a little colorful paint and some extra strength glue it could be that extra storage you need in the bathroom? Now what if on the same street it wasn’t a dresser but a person sleeping there in tattered clothes, would you see the possibilities in them?
Recently I had to research and write a paper on recycling. After spending some time digging into the subject I found the direction I wanted to go. Then once the outline was completed I decided to take a break. As I stepped into the shower a simple question entered my thoughts, “Did you ever consider that God recycles people?”
I had to pause to let my mind wrap itself around the question. If worrying about the assignment wasn’t bad enough I now had a different road to ponder. After I looked toward heaven I couldn’t help but smile and audibly reply, “really?” The obvious answer was yes, God does recycle people.
If you begin with the Bible I’m sure a few people quickly come to mind. The first person I thought of was Saul of Tarsus. In the book of Acts we can read of his exploits of how he persecuted, imprisoned, and murdered the early Christians. I would say that Saul was a misguided and broken man who deserved judgement from God, but instead was given a second chance.
We find that after the Lord blinded Saul, Ananias is sent to him with the following direction in 9:15, But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” We see God’s mercy and acknowledgement of the plan He had for Saul. Once his sight was restored Saul went on to preach the Gospel of Christ and is better known by the name of Paul.
We could spend many hours finding the different men and women in the Bible who were worthless outcasts worn down by their circumstances, but God used them to serve and to proclaim His glory. Moses, a self-exiled murderer, who was called upon to lead God’s people out of Egypt. David was called a man after God’s own heart, but he was an adulterer and murderer. Peter was a fisherman who had a temper and denied Jesus, and we can’t forget that Matthew was a tax collector.
These are some of the better known men in the Bible who God reached out to and reused for His purposes. He has done the same thing throughout history and even in our modern times. We see the preachers on TV or hear the speakers at Christian gatherings who were molested, alcoholics, victimized, or just struggling to survive till they trusted the Lord and were restored. Now they are walking with Him on a new path helping others find the Lord. So what does this mean to you?
We see people all around us every day who are broken and hurting with many being similar to the ones that I described above. Our more personal examples could be that friend who tried to commit suicide, your grandfather who was just diagnosed with cancer, or the depressed guy sitting next to you on the bus who just lost his job. The truth is that we all go through times in our life that leave us stressed and worn out.
This fast paced modern world has names for the different flavors that we find. Depression, anxiety, addiction, bankruptcy, homeless, beat down, or hit bottom are just a few, but some of us enjoy adding scoops of other flavors to our bowl with some sprinkles just to make it more interesting. No matter how we describe it we still have to make a decision on what to do. I have met far too many people who just want to give up and lay right where the fall.
I have been there staring off into the distance while my mind searched for answers or lying there with tears in my eyes trying to find relief from the emotional hurt that’s deep inside. Things were not always so dire, but I could never find total relief till I finally stopped trying to do everything myself. Once I rededicated my life to Christ I could feel His Spirit wash over me and begin rebuilding my soul. I speak to people who half step it like I did for years and are stuck in the same place or feel that they are not worthy of God’s grace and forgiveness.
The Bible gives us more examples where the overlooked were reached out to like the Samaritan woman at the well who then proclaimed His name. Naaman, the successful Syrian commander who had leprosy, but turned to the Lord and was healed. Elijah was scared and wanted to die before God sent him to anoint a new King. They were rejected or demoralized people who were used by God. During His ministry Jesus always sought out and took time for the downtrodden who were often considered liars, cheaters, and thieves.
My church is filled with stories of those who were changed and uplifted when they turned to Christ and allowed Him to rebuild their lives to where He wanted them to be. If we look around I’m sure each one of us could find someone who was once that defeated person who has been restored by Christ. If you feel lost and battered with nowhere to go, reach out to the ultimate recycler and allow Him to put you back together. Those who have will not hesitate to help you, so please enjoy “Each Broken Life” as you begin your journey.
EACH BROKEN LIFE
Beaten, battered, broken, downtrodden, worthless, and overlooked,
Discarded, rejected, used up, worn out, aimless, and misunderstood.
The world we see around us is littered with those who are tattered,
Some buried under the rubble of dreams that have been shattered.
My own memories of what I have endured come rising to the surface,
As I was limping slowly through my life on a path that had no purpose.
Struggling to find an escape when there was no place to retreat,
Then having to pick up all the fragments after a crushing defeat.
I was lost in a desolate forest with no light shining in my soul,
Lord you put my pieces back together and again made me whole.
You come to all those who are damaged, you do not push them away,
Then You invite us into your house and always ask us to stay.
Long ago You made the plans for us that may not be easy to see,
You take the time to rebuild us into who You know we should be.
Your grace and mercy cover us to mend all that was broken,
We find renewed strength and guidance in all the words You have spoken.
Please take the remnants of my life and use them For Your glory,
I know that You are not done with me yet as you rewrite my story.
So, no matter how we describe ourselves or the words that others choose,
When we faithfully follow where You lead, Each Broken Life you will reuse.