I have a weird quirk that is probably only understood by hockey players: I CAN’T STAND TO THROW AWAY BROKEN HOCKEY STICKS. And what’s worse is that I save them even though they are broken. Not just my sticks, but other hockey players’ sticks I find at the rink! I realized this quirk today as I came home with 3 broken sticks after my hockey game this morning and after I drove around to ice rinks looking for broken sticks simply because I was restless after a busy week.
Many of the broken sticks that I have picked up over the years eventually found their way into the trash. But until they were thrown away I kept them. They work great for many other household needs, like stakes in the garden. In the past I’ve used them to hold the hood of my car or truck up; this works equally as well for the rear window on a topper for a truck. I never know when I might need one, so I keep them.
I have many other hockey sticks that are in good shape, ready to be used for the next hockey game, so there really isn’t any GOOD reason for me to keep a broken stick. Some of the sticks I have kept do have sentimental or historic value. But most of them are just old broken hockey sticks that are useless because they can’t really be repaired. Good for nothing but to be tossed on a shelf or in a corner to remember the good old days when it was once used as a mighty instrument in the hands of a skilled player.
Sometimes our lives are like broken hockey sticks; aren’t they? We feel as though there are areas of our lives that have broken parts and we wonder if we will ever be useful again. And yet, God in His great mercy, sought us out to let us know that He still uses “broken hockey sticks”. Maybe my weird quirk that saves broken things from the trash isn’t so weird after all.
Church history and the Bible are filled with stories of people whose lives were broken and seemingly useless. God, it would seem, can use “broken hockey sticks” that are repentant and submitted to His authority and His purposes. People like Abraham, David, Samson, Peter, Paul, and even the thief on the cross; all messed up their lives, made great mistakes, and blew it!. All of these men were at a point in their lives where they were “broken hockey sticks” and yet they were still used for God’s glory. All of them, along with so many others, were restored to a point of usefulness that brought glory to God.
If you are a person who has blown it, you can be assured that Jesus came to pick “broken hockey sticks” out the trash and redeem them for His glory. You can be assured that God’s strength can help you overcome your defeated past. Jesus said; “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them” (Luke 9:56).
Maybe along the way you’ve forgotten God; He hasn’t forgotten you. Call out to Him, won’t you? Even if you are a condemned thief, a boastful fisherman, a wayward “Samson”, or an overzealous Pharisee; God still wants you to come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. God can still use “broken hockey sticks” like you and me.
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Matthew 9:12 "When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."