Broken Things Do Have Value - The Warrior's Journey®
Lack of Identity

Broken Things Do Have Value

Author: Brendon O'Dowd, USAF (Ret.)

A Navy Officer molds a splint on the left leg of a child. Photo by The U.S. Navy is licensed under CC By 2.0

A warrior is supposed to be world-wide qualified—strong, healthy, and able to serve at a moment’s notice.

An injury calls all that into question. It strikes at the core of who we are as warriors. When we are injured, whether physically, mentally, or even morally, we can feel as if we have no value.

Despite our injuries, we tend to avoid doctors, therapists, and even chaplains. They all promise to help, but sometimes they just serve as reminders that we are broken, and of course not valuable.

Believing for a Miracle

John 5 tells the story of a broken man. In fact, this man had been broken for over 38 years. It appeared as if he desired to be healed because he camped out year after year at a legendary miracle-healing-pool. We may scoff at his belief, but we have our own gathering places where we seek life transformation by quick fixes. Examples abound: winning the lottery, ingesting mega-vitamins and minerals, and trying a multitude of “miracles” found on the internet.

What’s interesting is that Jesus pursued the man and asked a simple question, “Do you want to get well” (John 5:6)? While the answer seems obvious, the man evaded answering Jesus by shifting the blame, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7).

Jesus responded by telling the man to pick up his mat and walk. Problem solved.

Dealing with Sin

But the story is not done yet. Jesus sought out the same man again and shocked him by saying, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). How can a man with disability for 38 years sin and worse, why would Jesus even mention that? It seems heartless and cruel. Yet Jesus is making the point that there is something worse than being a disabled man for 38 years—failure to reconcile with God over our sins.

Jesus came to deal with our sins. Physical and mental healing were secondary to His primary mission, because brokenness was and remains a long-term, unwanted guest in this world. That doesn’t mean we are without hope for even Jesus experienced brokenness. He was despised by some of his family and many of the key leaders in society, suffered throughout His ministry, and died a tortuous death. He even experienced total separation from His Father on the cross because our sins demanded this radical solution.

You Are Valued

Jesus lived among us because He loves us, brokenness included. To be clear, not all brokenness is tied to a specific sin we commit. But sin and brokenness dominate our lives, and despite all this brokenness, God values us. His commitment right now is to make us new on the inside. Paul encourages us with these words, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). He values us enough to fix us, and that starts with our hearts.

What can you do? First, recognize the need to see your value, not in your ability to be healthy, but in God’s estimation of you as His child. Second, find peace in living with brokenness because it will not go away until you are made perfect in heaven. And with Jesus, you will be made perfect. Finally, make improvements and changes where you can, concentrating on spiritual “exercises” that are profitable now and in the life to come (1 Tim. 4:8).


In article photo: Sailors carry a simulated patient by the U.S. Navy licensed under U.S. Govt. Work

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