After dealing with a giant pothole in the middle of the road for more than a year, Jackson, Mississippi, resident Eddie Prosser decided to do something that would get the city’s attention. He threw a birthday party for the pothole. Prosser put together a festive display at the pothole that featured birthday balloons and giant birthday card that read, “Happy Birthday Pothole”! The card also read, “I’ve been here for more than a year.
Prosser had already made 14 calls to the city’s 311 Action Line, but with no results. Finally, after local news outlets reported on the pothole party, the city fixed the pothole.
Peter Mui is the founder and organizer of Fixit Clinic—a “pop-up” activity where people bring their broken things to be repaired with the assistance of a volunteer Fixit Coach. These clinics are being held across the country. People bring broken DVD players, appliances, bicycles, and more.
Have you ever felt broken? Maybe you feel that way now. What does it mean to feel broken, anyway? It means you have been hurt or damaged to the point that you feel you need to be fixed. To feel broken means you feel so worn down that you have no more fight in you. You don’t feel you can trust anyone. Life loses its meaning. You don’t see the point of moving forward.
Here is the good news. God loves broken people. In fact, Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
No person is exempt from a broken heart, a crushed spirit, or a boatload of overwhelming problems. Psalm 34:19 goes on to speak honestly about life: “A righteous man may have many problems.” Even the best of people may feel broken. No one receives a get-out-of-adversity card.
And here is where the problem for us often begins. Many of us operate with the idea that if we do what is right, live for God, and follow His teachings that God sort of “owes” us the good life, one free of problems, a life with no feelings of brokenness. We might not say these words out loud, but we might act this way at times.
Psalm 34:18 gives a comforting promise to those who feel broken. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” The word “close” in the verse shows God making the first move. If you are open to God during your times of brokenness, He will draw near to you. He really will. Even more, He will give you His full attention.
Verse 18 goes on to say, “and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (think broken). This is not “saved” like Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins. Rather, the word here carries the idea of avenging us, defending us, what I call God giving the victory.
This word “save” in Psalm 34:18 can also mean “to open wide.” Sometimes, in our brokenness, we feel boxed in like there is no way out, or that we no longer have any options. But if you will take your brokenness to God, seek His wisdom and strength, He will make a way for you. In addition, He will give you the strength you need to keep pressing on. He will use your brokenness to develop you into a more resilient person.
When you feel broken don’t allow yourself to become a helpless victim. Bring your brokenness to God. He will help you become a victor. And that’s hopeful! (This article first appeared in The Post newspaper, Centre, AL)
Here’s hope from Psalm 34. When we trust God’s promises, every day is a great day. To order: Go to the link on this blog that reads “Gary’s books.”