Restore the broken

I must confess that I’m a sucker for old Western shows and movies.

As a little kid, I remember anxiously returning from church to sit down on a Sunday afternoon in front of our 18-inch, black-and-white TV in the living room. “The Lone Ranger” came on for two half-hour segments starting at noon.

Normally, one of them would get interrupted with a call for lunch, and there was no way around that. If you didn’t show up to eat, you weren’t going to get anything else until suppertime. And, even at that, I’d have fend off my brothers at the dinner table to make sure that I got something on my plate.

But, with the time that I had, I relished watching the Lone Ranger taking on the “bad guys,” always representing what was right and fair and never sticking around to take credit for it.

He would face all kinds of circumstances that put him at a disadvantage, but, between his own wit and his skill with the pistol, no one was ever able to take him down. No one ever got the best of him.

And that is a perfect representation of Americana folklore.

If you are an American, you are supposed to be tough and rugged, always able to pull yourself up by the bootstraps to find a way through for yourself. Self reliance is the only kind of reliance there is. When you hit rock bottom, just keep fighting and work your way out of your problem.

It’ll all work out in the end, right?

As a Believer in Christ, I think we’ve absolutely missed the mark on something. Those stories that we’ve grown up with create great heroes and are inspiring stories that help to ingrain a seed of determination down in our souls.

But what if you’ve done everything you can do and things don’t work out in the end?

What if you’ve fought and fought and manipulated and tried every angle you knew to work, but none of it helped?

What if you ended up losing your house, your job, your marriage, your kids, your health, or all your savings? What do you do in that moment?

What if you were a friend of someone going through that? What advice would you give that person?

“Tough break.”

“Keep a stiff upper lip!”

“It’ll all work out.”

“Hang in there, buddy.”

I hope those responses sound as ridiculous as they are.

When someone hits rock bottom, there has to be something better to offer than those trite condolences.

I have known some rock-bottom situations, myself. I have seen others in those rock-bottom situations, and I have heard testimonies of others in that place.

And here’s what we miss in our Americana bravado: That rock-bottom place can be a place of beauty!

At first, that sounds crazy, but, when a person reaches the end of his or her abilities, talents, and determination, they have the opportunity to find the end of himself or herself. That doesn’t mean his or her life is over. It means that he or she may finally have enough humility to be able to see their need to live by faith in Christ and start life anew — a life lived by faith.

No one has enough knowledge, strength, or wit to make it alone in this life.

The beauty of that moment is that the person who cries out for God to save him or her will receive an answer from the very one who created this world.

Now, the situation may not alleviate itself immediately. There may be rough times ahead, but to know that the creator of the universe cares for you personally and will walk with you through any fire you might face is life-changing and a huge comfort.

You don’t have to have the answers or the perfect abilities to dig yourself out of the hole you are in. God will help you one day at a time. Trust that he has your best interest in mind, and dig into His Word to learn the paths he has mapped out for you.

There is simply nothing more powerful or beautiful than the testimony of someone who has experienced the transformational power of God.

Ultimately, God is the restorer of the brokenhearted!

Deuteronomy 31:8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today