Bigger They Are, Harder They Fall

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My son David broke his leg this week. Dashing across campus between classes, he hurdled over a retaining wall and heard the bone crack as he landed. He snapped it in two places and ended up having a rod surgically inserted to stabilize things just a few hours after the accident.

The surgeon told us it was a good thing we brought him in right away. At 6’7″, David is strong and muscular and his bones are extremely dense. The doctor had a hard time getting the rod in as it was — had the muscles been given time to swell, it would have made the job much more difficult, if not impossible.

As usual, David didn’t complain. I never heard so much as a low groan escape his lips, although when questioned, he admitted it did hurt quite a bit. I knew it must by the way the blood drained from his face every time he was jostled. Broken bones can be excruciatingly painful.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Somehow, the idea of joints and marrow being split apart took on fresh meaning when I saw the X-ray of my son’s splintered leg. The word of God brings conviction — how could I expect the process to be anything but painful? Whether we experience conviction of sin as as a sharp, shooting pang or a dull, aching throb, it won’t go away until we climb onto the surgical table and let the Great Physician set things right.

David’s break was not an open fracture, so the only external evidence was a slight bulge on the side of his leg. The true extent of his injury could only be appreciated by taking an X-ray to examine the bone inside. Likewise, God is far more concerned about our inner failings than our outward appearance. He searches our heart. That’s why scriptures that speak to heart issues are always so piercing.  The more I read, the more aware I become of how badly broken I am, and of how far I fall short of the goal, which is total conformity to Christ.


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