One of my all-time favorite scenes is from the movie, Seabiscuit about an unlikely, knobby-legged racehorse who defied the odds and became a racing legend. A trainer named Tom Smith sits by a campfire tending an old racehorse, now lame. Seabiscuit’s owner, Charles Howard, is watching him.
“Why are you fixing him?” asks Charles. “Because I can,” replies Tom. “You don’t throw a whole life away just cause he’s banged up a little.” In that moment, Charles Howard decided Tom was the right trainer for Seabiscuit. Can you sense the heart of God in Tom’s reply? I sure can!
Perhaps you can relate to feeling banged up. Whether a little, or a lot, it’s been a rough season for many of us. But the Lord doesn’t throw away His people when they get banged up, or even broken. Maybe your life is feeling broken in a thousand pieces. A marriage or a relationship with a child, a parent, or friend is broken. A career or business you’ve worked hard at is broken. A bank account, broken. You may be suffering with broken health … broken dreams … broken hope.
What Jesus does.
Can I gently remind you what Jesus does with broken pieces?
All four of the gospels record the miraculous account of Jesus feeding five thousand hungry people with five loaves of bread and two fish. But the part that captures my attention is when everyone has finished eating. What does Jesus do? He instructs the disciples to collect all the broken pieces. Leftover pieces that no one wanted. Tossed to the ground. Useless. Forgotten.
He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” – John 6:12 (NIV)
Can you picture it? The disciples weaving their way through the crowd that is resting now with full bellies. Carefully searching for broken bits and scraps to gather up, useful for another time. They collected enough to fill up twelve baskets!
So if you are looking at the broken pieces of life, wondering what good they are, please look again. See those pieces the way Jesus sees them—nothing wasted or lost. I love how one translation puts it: “Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost” (NASB). Sometimes we’d rather lose the broken pieces, right? I can certainly relate, but this translation helps me gain a new perspective. We protect what we don’t want to lose. There is value, even in your broken pieces, because you are valued by God.
You are valued by God.
Eventually the day came when Seabiscuit could no longer win races or earn championship titles, but he was valued. Broken and lame, yet still a thoroughbred who served his owner in new ways. Walking with a limp the rest of his life only proved how dependent he was on his owner’s mercy and care.
Our reality is that we are all broken limpers, leaning on our Savior. Broken pieces remind us of His love, mercy and care. And they help us learn to lean well on our Savior … all the way home!
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28