Born broken. Living whole through Jesus. My daughter used these words to describe her life while performing a short skit at our church. Sixteen years ago Jordanne was born with spina bifida. As a result, she cannot walk and has challenges in other areas that most of us take for granted. Despite her physical limitations, Jordanne is a young lady with an extremely positive attitude. She loves Jesus and finds joy in encouraging others facing difficulties. God has used my daughter to remind me (over and over again) of the basics of the Good News we proclaim to the world.
Born broken. Some of us struggle with physical challenges and our brokenness is readily apparent. Without exception, my daughter’s wheelchair is the first thing strangers notice when encountering her. Over the years Jordanne has received hundreds of sympathetic looks and words, because of her condition. Other people’s brokenness is hidden from view. Emotional pain festers beneath the surface of a smiling face. The well known Scripture in Romans 3:23 tells us that everyone has sinned and falls short of the glory of God. We are created in the image of God but are in a fallen state. We are all born broken. We search for ways to ease the pain, making choices that often create more heart ache. It’s a vicious cycle, and none of us is exempt.
Living whole through Jesus. I love the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17–“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT). The moment we trust Christ as Savior, we experience the forgiveness of sins and are instantly made new. We also begin the process of transformation. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, He redeems the ugly wounds of our past. He transfigures our destructive ways of thinking and behaving. He gives us peace and joy in the midst of less-than-perfect circumstances. Jordanne has been the recipient of many prayers for physical healing. Recently she told me, “Every time someone prays for me to be healed, even though I don’t get out of my wheelchair, somehow I feel healed emotionally.” Sometimes our brokenness is fixed; other times we discover abundant grace in our brokenness. In every situation Jesus extends His wholeness, strength, and sufficiency to us.
As ministers of the Gospel, we have experienced the wonderful transformation of Jesus Christ. We know, all too well, what our lives would be like without the on-going work of the Holy Spirit. We have dedicated ourselves to helping people, and yet, the ones we long to connect with often look at us and wonder what we could possibly have in common with them. From their perspective, our lives are close to perfect. We have a perfect marriage, perfect family, perfect relationship with God…One remedy I have found effective in addressing this perfection myth is to regularly talk about the challenges I face and how Christ meets me in the midst of them. I share about when I’ve had a bad day and struggled with a negative attitude, and then God spoke to my heart and helped me adjust my outlook. I am honest about my battles with depression and the encouragement I find in God’s Word. I talk about wrestling with unanswered prayer while still holding on to the truth of God’s love and goodness. Yes, I’ve come a long way, but I am still very much a work in progress. As we faithfully walk out authentic faith, we provide hope to others on their journey. We are called to be living examples of what it means to find wholeness through Jesus.
God has entrusted us with a miraculous message that must be shared through our words and actions: Are you broken? Welcome to the Club. You, too, can live whole through Jesus.