What do underground sprinklers, a dishwasher, a 2003 Buick, window screens and a laptop computer have in common?
For starters, I own them. What’s more, they’re all broken or in various stages of decomposition. Welcome to my spring of disrepair.
This is not a new season, just the most recent pattern I’ve experienced as the second law of thermodynamics dismantles everything around me.
Growing up, my family once owned: a riding lawnmower that could only be started by hot wiring it with a pair of pliers; a Chevy pickup with a transmission that could best be described as temperamental; an ancient, rusted out, mouse-infested, light blue International truck without brakes — well, operational brakes, at least.
I’m detecting a trend here. Not necessarily the trend of my hereditary hardships with most things mechanical, as real as that is, but the trend of things falling apart rather than putting themselves back together.
We all have to deal with deterioration. Whether we’re dealing with engines, electrical systems or even our physical bodies, entropy is inescapable. Everything is falling apart.
How do you start putting things back together?
If you’ve taken high school physics you know it takes energy to restore order to a system in chaos. The greater the disorder, the greater the energy needed to set things right. With my own first-world problems, I’ll shell out some cash, watch some YouTube videos and find a few experts to help me out until the next round of repairs come around.
That’s how we fix our physical problems in a broken world. But what about our spiritual problems? Take a few seconds to think about what is shattered in your soul. Plans can break. Relationships can rot away. Injustice can destroy our hope.
Could God possibly put those kind of things back together?
The best engineers and mechanics seem to be those people who grew up taking things apart and putting them back together again. They aren’t intimidated by breakage; they are inspired to figure out a way to fix it.
Jesus fits that description. Like an expert engineer or a reliable mechanic, He saw how broken we are and decided to do something about it: allow Himself to be broken. That solution seems illogical. When we look at the cross, we see chaos, not order; Jesus was torn apart by the unimaginable pain and suffering.
But He was also fixing death by taking it apart from the inside.
If you’re going to reverse the effects of disorder you have to exert energy, like the strength God used to reverse the effects of death.
After being torn apart in His death, Jesus “… was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4) God took death apart and put it back together again as eternal life.
That’s why Jesus is the best in business of putting life back together.
His repairs are free but they aren’t cheap; Jesus gave His life to perfect this power but He shares it freely with those who put their broken lives in His nail-scarred hands. If you think your soul is unfixable, you can always bring to Him what is broken and let Him bring you back to life.
— Gregg Madsen is the Lead Pastor of Steadfast Gretna. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.