It is no secret that we live in a broken world.
We live in a world where broken families, broken relationships and even broken churches abound. Whether it is simply the pressures of life, the disappointment of expectations unmet or the sin that afflicts us all, brokenness is everywhere.
As Christians we understand that this does not have to be the case. In fact, the reason that Jesus come to earth and died for our sins was to restore brokenness. He died so that man could be reconciled to God through His shed blood. Christians who are called to follow the example of Christ should then live to heal brokenness and to restore the damaged path of life. Sadly though, it is often Christians, those that have been forgiven, healed, and restored by Christ that are the cause of the brokenness around them.
Isaiah 58 deals with this issue by painting a word picture that describes not only the problem but also the solution. As we look at this passage we are given the picture of those who believe in God and have been taught how to properly worship Him sitting on a broken path surrounded by a broken wall. We are told that the poor and hungry are desperately seeking for food in a world that is increasingly dark. As the poverty increases and the darkness begins to overwhelm, those who know God only do those things that make them feel good. They ignore the situation around them while worshiping God contrary to His Word and yet demand that He respond to them.
Half way through this chapter we see God’s response to the scene before Him. He declares that if these “believers” would stop living for themselves and would align themselves to His Word that restoration would come. As these believers worshiped Him by serving others they would become the light to expel the darkness. The result of this life of service to others is clearly explained in verse number 12:
“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
There is a great lesson in this passage for every true follower of Christ. If we are to live lives of meaning and purpose in a way that will make an eternal difference to the world around us, we must stop living for ourselves. We can be the light that is so desperately needed and the one who is used by God to restore the broken if only we will respond to the needs around us instead of living solely for our own.
Let us each determine to live lives focused on ministering to others so that we may be called, “The restorer of paths to dwell in.”