Thursday, October 31, 2013

As Strong As Before

Annie had her back to him, and didn’t see it happen. She did, however, hear the craaack of his bones.

My four-year-old grandson, Ryder, had been so excited to go to his friend’s birthday party, and couldn’t wait to try the inflatable jumper and slide. Being a bit of a thrill seeker (not sure where he got that!), he went down the slide face first—something he’d been doing since he was seven months old. Bracing for impact at the bottom, both bones in one forearm snapped. Annie didn’t have to see him holding it, hand dangling, to know his arm was broken.

Ryder 2

Paramedics were called. Ryder’s greatest source of distress was not the pain, but that his arm “looked funny”. They splint his arm and iced it for swelling, then Stew—Ryder’s dad—took him down to Children’s Hospital. After x-rays confirmed what they already knew, the doctor put Ryder under while they set the bones.

 Ryder's broken arm

When he woke up, Ryder was slow to come out of the anesthesia, and labored to put words to this urgent question.


“Yeah, buddy?” Stew responded.

“Uuhhh…why …do… you… have… three eyes? Ummm…why… do… you…have… two noses?”

That anesthesia must have been pretty strong!

Interestingly enough, once Ryder’s bones fully heal you will never be able to tell where they broke. They will be just as strong as the rest of his bones, and no more prone to re-injury than before.

Amazing, isn’t it, that what is true in our bodies is also true in our spirits?

Things happen in life that cause brokenness in all of us. Hard things, and they hurt deeply. Sometimes it’s something that happened when we were young, a situation over which we had no control and wish had never happened. Other times it’s things that come at us quickly, blindsiding us with intensity we never saw coming. Whatever it is, we cannot change it and the ache threatens to bury us.

But there is the hope of healing. There is always hope to those who belong to Jesus. It is He who can mend those deepest of our hurts. He understands and can identify with them; while on earth He was “despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain…” (Isaiah 53:3). He longs to draw us close and heal us, encouraging us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). It may take time, and the process—even of healing—can be excruciating. It takes our participation, and often a lot of hard work. But if we allow it, Jesus can make us strong where once we were weak, and whole where once we were broken.

This is His promise:

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.                                                                                                              1 Peter 5:10

Further reflection:

  1. What are some of the things in life that caused a sense of brokenness in you?
  2. Were they things over which you had control?
  3. What helped you work through that pain?

Father, thank You that You don’t leave us alone to wallow in our pain. Thank You that You understand it, You care about it, and You want to help us heal. Please help me to come to You, recognizing that You endured more pain than I can imagine so that You could help me through my own.


  1. ahh, poor Ryder! Precious story Chris, laced with hope and graced with truth. <3

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