“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Can a person be so broken, that healing and wholeness seem hopeless – that ever knowing peace and true joy again is despaired of? Perhaps in the realm of the human, but in the realm of the Spirit of Christ, all things are possible. He is the one who proclaims that he makes all things NEW.
I recently read, Unbroken, A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand. It is the story of Olympian runner Louie Zamperini whose life was broken by the ravages of war and the horrors of life in a Japanese prison camp. He survived and returned home, alive, but in reality dead to any meaningful life. He suffered from crippling, disabling flashbacks, nightmares, and alcoholism.
In 1949 Louie attended the Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles. Laura Hillenbrand documented his testimony of the morning after the crusade on page 376: “Resting in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation, and helplessness had fallen away. That morning, he believed he was a new creation.” Ms. Hillenbrand documented that he never had another flashback or nightmare of his prison guard, the Bird, once again assaulting him.
I highly recommend reading this book. One cannot fully appreciate Louie’s transformation without comprehending the depths of his suffering.
You can make of Louie’s transformation what you will, but I see it as an apologetic of the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17!