"I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the
lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak,.."(Ezekiel 34:15-16a, NIV)
Driving through the backroads of Mifflin, Huntingdon, and Centre county provide me a glimpse into the past. I see large working farms, farmettes, and dilapidated forlorn farms that no longer produce anything but weeds and overgrown fields. In almost all of them are remnants of farm machinery from the past. Rust has long since overtaken the painted surfaces. Broken parts and feeder chains have disabled the cornpickers. Flat tires plague Farmall tractors and open exhaust stacks allow rain water down into the valve and piston compartments.
In some cases, the equipment will make fine scrap iron, in other situations and in the right hands restoration would be possible. I have shared in the past of my father's penchant for fixing things. He could weld stuff together with a coat hanger and an acetylene torch. When he had a larger job to do, he would turn to his pride and joy.
(Lincoln Welder, bought brand new in the late 60s for about $120)
There are two kinds of welders. Ones who can lay a bead into the space between two pieces of metal and make it look like bead of caulking can work anywhere. Those who lay weld into the space and make it look like bubble gum can work at Double Bubble. Dad was a little of both. He always tried to get the correct heat setting (scaled numbers on the light colored display in the photo) and the correct size welding rods. I often wonder what dad could have done if he would have had a MIG or TIG welder....that's water under the bridge.
We try to fix ourselves from a myriad of ailments. We self medicate and utilize illicit drugs and things to alleviate brokenness. In some tragic cases, women and men stubbornly refuse help and get scrapped and left to rust and rot away. Others release their grip on self-reliance and seek the Great Mender. Almighty God can bring beauty from ashes and rusted broken bodies back into pristine working shape, God always chooses the correct heat setting and appropriate welding rod. The power of Jesus blood is always the perfect fit for mending and restoring.
Life tarnished by sin? Jesus.
Life flattened by failure? Jesus.
Life seized by floods of despair? Jesus.
Life shattered by strains and weaknesses? Jesus.
Jesus understands our shortcomings. He has endured human living and knows how to fill in the gaps of our brokenness with the most beautiful bead of healing.
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let
us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with
our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without
sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV)
As we navigate life, let's acknowledge our brokenness and offer it to the one who can bring wholeness and holiness to us. As we navigate life and encounter many people along our way, let's offer them the path toward wholeness and holiness. It's found in no other name than Jesus.