My mom is a lover of art...she loved to display on her stairway mantel a beautiful statue which showed off her sophisticated style! I am not sure how expensive the stature really was, but it was a beautiful visage of an elegant Greek woman (like my mom) -- a face and shoulder statue. She was very proud of it; so she placed it in a prominent place for everyone to see.
My mom also was a mother of six highly-energetic children born only a few years apart. Her second daughter, Lara Lee (it is really Laura but we pronounce it Lara), was born with a rare condition called Rhett's syndrome. It is a terrible disease that attacks the nervous system and destroys the bodies' normal brain function; and as a result my sister never mentally matured past the age of 1 1/2. As her body grew, her mental age stayed the same. When she was around 9 or 10 my sister would literally run around the house for hours at a time, it was how she released her energy.
One day, while she was whipping from room to room she ran smack into my mom's favorite statue. It fell onto the wood floor and completely smashed into about 10 different pieces. My mom was heart-broken...her priceless piece of art was forever ruined; and what made it worse, my sister had no idea what she was even doing. My poor elegant mom, shattered dreams and a broken statue!
My dad came home from work and said "We can fix it! I will go out and buy some ceramic glue and I will make it look like brand new." She said, "No, it is forever ruined, it will never be as valuable as it once was." My dad looked at my mom and said, "I am sorry about what happened; but what is more important, being angry over a ceramic statue or showing mercy to your own flesh and blood daughter?"
Sure enough my dad fixed it, and if you didn't look close, you couldn't even tell it was broken. The amazing thing that happened, is over time my mom actually began to appreciate that statue more than ever because every time she saw it, it reminded her of what was really important...her relationship with a daughter she loved, and who depended on her constant care.
Life is like that, you want it to be perfect, you think you can conquer the world and then in a mere moment, it falls apart - - it feels just like my mom's statue being broke. I'm sure all of us have had thoughts that "your life has been utterly ruined by sin or tragedy, you are a forever failure, there is no hope, the world stinks so why even try?"
Well because....we have a Father in heaven that has a glue that puts ruined lives back together. It's called resurrection life and it was purchased by the death of his Son. What is important to God is not that you can perform daily for him and live the perfect life, he doesn't even care if you are better than everyone else - - but what he really wants is for you to know him (Jeremiah 9:23-24). He wants you to experience a God that is quick to show mercy and patch you back up with his love!
HE ALWAYS DESIRES TO RAISE TO LIFE THAT WHICH WAS ONCE DEAD!
Yes, there will be some cracks left over from your past sin and rebelliousness; but remember, God has allowed this so you can see what really matters. Having faith in an amazing God! When you see the scars from your past failures, remember, he is the one who took your broken pieces, glued them back together, and brought you back to life! Those cracks are left to remind you of how good he really is.
Allow the forgiveness you have received to make you stronger, better. So be kind & compassionate. God has put at your disposal a continual supply of grace through his Son. God has forgiven each of us for so much, we have damaged so many of the relationships we have touched, that we need to start allowing God's forgiveness to flow through us daily. Who are we to let bitterness, disappointment, anger, and shattered dreams to continue to rule our lives?
If God can forgive, why can't we?
Just a final note on my sister Lara; the average life span of a person with Rhett's syndrome is 17 years of age...my sister this October turns 53 years old. My mom's continued love has kept her living 35 years longer than she should have -- and in the same way, if you continue to live by faith, God's love will restore those parts of your life that you once thought could never be restored.
And instead of making it 35 years longer than the average person, through his love you get to live forever!