Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fractured Relationships

     When we were still living in the frozen north of Ohio, I worked for my father-in-law's radio station. The weather was very cold with a bit of snow and freezing rain, so I was cautious when I went to lunch as the roads were slick.  Arriving at Karl's Diner, I decided to get out of the rain so I trotted across their clean and clear blacktop driveway to get in and pick up my lunch.  The problem was that the driveway was not clear.
     As I ran across the surface, I hit an area of ice and went flying into the air with my left arm pinned under my left side of my body.  Initially, I was shocked and embarrassed.  When I got up my arm hurt, but it was not that bad.  I went in and purchased  my lunch and returned to the station.  While sitting at my desk, I noticed my wedding band getting very tight and my hand starting to swell.  I got my rings off and looked at my arm.  Then, the throbbing began followed by excruciating pain.
Doc McStuffins is ready to fix broken toys!
     When a staff member drove me to a doctor's office, he looked at the results of my x-ray and said that was the worst possible location for a break and I would need surgery the next day if I wanted to use my left arm again.  Since I am left-handed, there was no question of the necessity of this operation.  I went ahead with this and spent about five weeks recuperating.  Naturally, life was not easy during that time since it is hard to fix your hair, take a shower or even dress when one arm is immobilized.  I did manage, though, and learned a lot about the value of my left arm during that time.
I resolved to be much more careful in the future.
     Looking back on that time in my life reminds me that all of us suffered a fracture at birth (Romans 3:23).  We have a broken relationship with God due to sin.  We are born with that condition.  Unless we come to acknowledge our need for a Savior, we live with that broken relationship for years.  In my case, it took 22 years before that breach was healed through repenting of my sin and asking Christ to be Lord of my life.  What a difference this made not only in my relationship with God but also the relationships I had with others.  When we are right with God, then, we can really begin to love others as ourselves.
     Now consider what would have happened if I had not had the surgery on my elbow.  The doctor told me that I could either have it in a bent condition for the rest of my life or I could hold it straight and never bend it again.  In either case, I would have lost full use of my arm.  When we consider spiritual issues, the same is true for our fractured soul.  We can try to patch it up by good deeds.  We can attend church in order to feel better, or we can give money to help others.  Yet, we will never repair that deep fracture through our own efforts.  It requires spiritual surgery done by the work of the Holy Spirit to regenerate us.  He gives us a new heart that is able to come in humility confessing our sins and our need for a Savior.  Jesus gave His all by becoming a man, laying aside the glory of heaven and coming to live a perfect life before us.  Then, He died in our place for our sins.  He completed all that so that we might be healed and whole again.  This is the Good News that we celebrate at Christmas.
      Jesus Christ came to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10).  We can either walk around as a cripple in this life or allow the Holy Spirit to bring healing to our fractured soul.  The Apostle Paul writes that "today is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).  Do not neglect the call that God is making in your life.  Let this Christmas be the most joyful, abundant time as you come to know Christ the Savior as never before.  Selah!

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