It was a cool and crisp Saturday night in the Midwest. The lights were on, the fans were filling the stands, the band was playing, and we were ready for some football! From the opening kick-off the game was intense and neither team could get any momentum. With the clock ticking down toward half-time, the opposing team decided to “go for it all.” The quarterback took a seven-step drop while his lineman formed a pocket around him. As an outside linebacker, I read his eyes, saw the play developing, and dropped deep into my zone of coverage anticipating that the tight end would run an out pattern into my zone.
The play developed much as I thought, but instead of throwing to the tight end, the quarterback heaved the ball as far as he could down the sideline toward his wide receiver who was sprinting toward the end zone. Our defensive back was stride for stride with him and the ball came spiraling down near the sideline at about the fifteen yard line. Both players leaped high in the air to try to catch the ball and as they did, made contact with each other. As I sprinted toward the play, I saw the ball being tipped away at the last moment by my teammate and fall harmlessly to the ground. Almost instantaneously, however, I heard a scream!
As the two players reached for the ball, their legs became tangled and as soon as they fell to the ground together, the wide receiver from the other team began clutching his leg in agony. I remember vividly the referee blowing his whistle and immediately yelling to the sideline for help. As I approached a second or two later, I could see that the bone in his leg was broken and literally protruding out from the skin! It was a horrible sight—one that quite frankly made me immediately sick to my stomach. Days later, some of us had the opportunity to contact that player in the hospital, and although his season had suddenly ended with one play, his leg was properly set and he recovered.
Medically, when a bone is broken and reset, we are told that the place where the bone was previously broken becomes stronger than it was originally. While we would think that just the opposite would be the case, a broken bone can become better than it was before! Isn’t that exactly what God does with our lives as well? Perhaps that is why God says in Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart , O God, thou wilt not despise.”
God loves a broken heart because He knows that when we come to Him in that condition, He can make all things new. He can give us a new heart and a new spirit that will be better and stronger than before. Look around today. Do you see any broken lives? God can and desires to use us to “heal the broken-hearted.”—The Baptist Voice, Dr. John Goetsch, July 2007