Each day offers a new series of challenges and rewards. And...At least in my life...Some days are a bit more challenging than others! Trials are a part of living and growing in Christ. Life in faith is not a promise of no trial or no pain. As Jesus told the disciples at the last supper in John 16:33 when He was preparing them for the challenges they were to soon face, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
My cousin Chuck had organized this get-together that I attended in January as a celebration of his Mom, my Aunt's 80th birthday. He has always been a positive and cheerful person as long as I can remember and, being 7 years older than me, was often a mentor as we grew up. I saw Chuck enter the party in a motorized wheelchair and I began to wonder what his issues were. His wife was the one who revealed to me that he was suffereing from a degenerative bone condition in his feet. Chuck was outwardly cheerful and talking to everyone in his normal way, hiding his brokenness.
This experience has kept me thinking about this idea that we are all "broken" in some way. Most of us, most of the time keep our broken pieces hidden under our cover that we share with others. The well-known expression, "You can't judge a book by its cover" accurately describes us all. We are all like a book that has unique and personal story hidden beneath our cover. Our facade often hides the pain and trial we are facing. Even those who seem to have a bright, cheerful cover may be hiding something that needs healing.
How are you broken? Is it physical, emotional, spiritual, something else? Or is it a collection of things? God wants us to be whole. He wants us to come to Him for healing and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. As Moses told the Isrealites before they were led into the promised land from Deuteronomy 31:6, "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you or abandon you."
Surrendering our spirit brings us to God, growing our faith allows God to heal our body and our souls. Faith in Him will heal us and make us whole. As the Psalmist in Psalms 51:17 writes, "The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God."
We all need to open our book and let God heal whatever is broken within us. We need to pray for others who may have a cover that we find objectionable, but which hides something broken within them that we cannot see. We need to understand that what we "see" in others may not be what their soul is. We all hide our brokenness to some degree.
God has given us these reminders each Sunday of the sacrifice of Jesus' broken Earthly body that was made for us, to heal us, to fix what is broken within us. All we have to do is faithfully accept His healing grace. As we take these elements let us remember He is always there, waiting to help mend whatever hidden brokenness we might have.