I was recently reading the story of the time when God used a very damaged, old car to call Peter Horrobin into the healing ministry. Peter’s words, ‘When I first saw the sad remains (of the car), it felt as though it would have been more appropriate to call an undertaker and give the old girl a decent burial’, touched me deeply. This one sentence took me back to the time in my life when that was exactly how I felt: broken, sad, a hopeless, depressed person, who didn’t deserve to live.
Then, as I read on, Peter (the visionary!) had written that, looking at the pile of broken pieces, ‘I could almost hear the sound of the engine at full throttle and feel the wind pulling at the roots of my hair, as she ate up the miles on the open road ahead.’ My spirit soared at this powerful reminder that when I was broken and at my lowest ebb, God wasn’t fazed. He saw what I couldn’t: all the potential of the full restoration He knew He was going to bring. I began to thank Him with all my heart for His goodness and faithfulness, because He truly has brought restoration beyond anything I could have imagined way back then.
Immediately, I thought of the many, many people who are even now, feeling as I once did, like a pile of rubbish, believing the best thing is for someone to ‘call an undertaker and bury them’. I was mindful that, stuck in the middle of this Covid pandemic and the isolation of lockdown, many, already hurting people are even more vulnerable to a growing sense of hopelessness, despair and even self-destructive thoughts.
You might even be one of those who can all too easily identify with that broken old car, and if so, I believe our loving God wants to tenderly reassure you, that, even though life’s experiences might not have demonstrated that you are precious and highly valued, He sees you, with eyes full of love and compassion, as His own child, belonging to Him, the apple of His eye. With His heart full of hope (and not the kind of hope that disappoints!) He sees you restored, ‘running at full throttle with the wind pulling the roots of your hair, eating up the miles of life on the open road ahead.’
I am not God’s favourite. If you are hurting, broken and desperate, God’s heart is exactly the same for you, and if you ponder on these words (which Jesus Himself spoke) and allow Him, His Holy Spirit will take them and root them in your heart, ‘He sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair’ (Isaiah 61:1-3).
These are His promises to you personally. He knows it is so much easier to listen to old familiar thoughts that go round and round and are so contrary to His words. That is why we need His Holy Spirit to enable us, and He is right there ready to help whenever we call out to Him. We only need to be willing. He is our helper and enabler, and He will faithfully lead you forward step-by-step.
For those of us who have experienced His amazing restoration already in our lives, let’s be mindful that Jesus said, ‘My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life’ (John 10:10, NLT), and nothing and nobody is too difficult for Him. So, let’s look for opportunities, even in these lockdown days, to be encouragers to those who are despairing, imparters of the true hope we have found in Him, to those who have no hope, envisioners of life ‘at full throttle, eating up the miles on the open road ahead.’
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Peter might have been looking at a pile of broken metal, but he saw something very different. Thank You that, with Your eyes of love and compassion, You see far beyond the ashes of a broken life to the crown of beauty You bestow on those who dare to trust their losses to You. Thank You that You see the most broken, held aloft as a trophy of Your grace. I declare (whether for yourself – or for a broken person you know) my hope is in You. In Jesus. name, Amen.
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