Last Sunday at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center a friend of mine told a story which I had never heard before. It is of a true incident which I think is so illustrative of this. He told of a service at a rescue mission in a midwestern city a few years ago. It was a service for children, in which children were putting on the program. One little boy was to give a recitation. He was only about five or six years old and he had a deformity, a terribly misshapen back, a humpback. As he walked across the stage to give his recitation it was evident that he was very nervous, very shy and afraid, and very much aware of his condition. In fact, it was the first time that he had ever tried anything like this and it was a great struggle for him.
Two older fellows had come into the back of the room intending to ridicule the service. One of them called out to this boy as he walked across the stage, “Hey, son, where are you going with that pack on your back?” The little boy was completely demoralized and he began to cry. He just stood up there and sobbed.
A man got up out of the audience and came up to the platform. He knelt down by the little boy and put his arm around him. He said to the audience, “It must take a very callous and cruel person to say something like that to a little boy like this. He is suffering from something that is not his fault at all. He does have this deformity and despite it he was trying for the first time to venture out and say something in public. And now this remark has cut him deeply. But I want you to know that this little boy is mine. I love him just the way he is. He belongs to me, and I’m proud of him.” And he led the boy off the platform.
That is what God is saying to us. That is what he is really saying! He sees our hurt and our heartache and our longing and our brokenness, and he says, “You’re MINE!” But that isn’t all. Because of his power and wisdom God says, with that wonderful hopefulness of a loving father, “You shall be mine, healed, made whole, with all your blemishes and deformities corrected, all your faults straightened out, all your iniquities set aside, all your tangled relationships unsnarled. You are going to be mine. You shall be whole, for I am whole.” That is what this book is about, that is what the Bible is about, and that is what Jesus Christ is about.
Sermon: The Way to Wholeness