July 5, 2022
Our Hope for Broken Things
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"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
I read the text through a haze of tears. Then I let the groan in my throat spill through my lips. My friend's struggle was spiraling from bad to worse, and I felt like a paralyzed spectator watching her world unravel.
I had listened and encouraged, consoled and comforted. But I couldn't fix my friend's shattered dreams or reverse her agonizing situation. I sank to the floor in a heap of sadness and expressed my frustration to the Lord.
It's all so broken. What can I do?
God didn't answer with a voice from heaven, but a single word crossed my mind: Pray.
I pushed the idea away. Of course I would pray. Later. But right now, I wanted to do something.
As if on cue, I spotted a teddy bear lying beneath the coffee table not far from where I was sitting. When I plucked the forgotten toy out of hiding, I noticed its head was dangling askew. Oh, great, something else that's broken.
As I swatted a trickle of tears, my teenage son sauntered into the room and glanced at the toy in my hand. "You should put that on the counter for Dad," he suggested with a wink.
My son's advice stirred a memory from long-ago days when my life was a blur of diapers and demands. With five small children beneath my roof, I didn't have the capacity to strategize how to fix all the things that got broken in our house. So, eventually, my kids developed a solution of their own.
Whatever fell short, fell apart or failed to work was deposited on the kitchen counter, next to the stack of daily mail, in hopes of attracting my husband's attention when he came home from work.
"Just take it to Daddy," they'd say when the punching bag went flat or the hula hoop cracked.
"Just take it to Daddy," they'd propose when the jump ropes grew tangled or the doll's arm dangled.
That pile may have looked like clutter, but it was a humble appeal for help. Each time my children added something to the countertop mound, they admitted the fix they needed was beyond the faculty they possessed.
When they couldn't fix what was broken, my kids simply surrendered it to one who could. And as beloved children of God, we are invited to do the same.
We do not all have earthly fathers who are inclined to fix broken things, but each one of us has a heavenly Father who is willing to repair and restore what we cannot. In fact, Psalm 147:3 describes our good Father like this: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (NIV).
The term the psalmist uses to communicate "healing" is rapa, which means to mend by stitching. This word alone paints a poignant picture of our heavenly Father's heart.
It reminds us God does not hold at arm's length what is broken. Rather, He encourages us to draw close and place in His hands what has unraveled. Then He engages in the intimate work of fixing what is fractured.
My son plucked the teddy bear from my grasp and headed to the kitchen, and as he put the toy on the counter, my next move became clear.
I closed my eyes and carried my hurting friend to God in prayer. It wasn't my last resort; it was a wise next step.
With a single word, God had reminded me that prayer isn't succumbing to helplessness; it's putting faith into action. Because even when we don't know what to do, our Father's hands hold hope for broken things.
Dear Jesus, today, I surrender into Your hands the things in my life that seem unfixable. Give me faith to believe You can restore and repair what is broken. Help me to trust You more. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Romans 15:30, "I ask you from my heart, Christian brothers, to pray much for me. I ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (NLV)
What "broken thing" do you need to place in God's hands through prayer? Share your thoughts in the comments so we can pray with you.
© 2022 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.