Pain Heartache Brokenness

They are the beginning, not the end

What do you do with the brokenness in your life?

nelson-lakes

A Glimpse into His Heart

My past few months have been marked by some heartbreak, accusations, my immediate future direction changed and some lost opportunities in ministry. Needless to say, this isn’t the road I would have chosen. But along the way, I have been able to cling to the hope that God redeems my heartbreak and, in the process, give me glimpses into who he is.

On previous occasions I tended to focus on my temporal life in the flesh relating to the earthly life, but this time was different. I deliberately made time to be still and quiet before the God, soaking in His presence. Impressed upon my heart was the need to look at His eternal perspective in this situation. I sensed my focus was on investing in what lasts for eternity.

The Kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom, an everlasting kingdom and He wanted me to establish it “now”” to flow through me all of the time. It is living in the kingdom presence where God is ever-present

I don’t know about you, but while I can write that, and while I know it’s true, it is not easy to do it.  It’s terrifying. The good news is that sometimes God brings us to the place where we have no choice but to die to ourselves. He uses the circumstances of our lives, especially our places of pain, heartache and brokenness for good. We are all completely and utterly reliant on God all the time –but we fail to realize this.

When we endure these heartbreaks ourselves — rejection, betrayal, accusations — we don’t walk through them alone. God has walked that road Himself. And in some mysterious way, when our hearts are broken, we are given new insight into the very character of God. We, on the other hand, don’t understand our hearts. That’s why God asks us to pour our hearts out to Him. He knows that if we do so, He’ll expose our hearts. He doesn’t expose them to condemn us but rather to heal and transform us.

And as I walked this road, God carefully articulated my situation and then gave me a promise

‘O God, whom I praise, don’t stand silent and aloof while the wicked slander me and tell lies about me. They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason. I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them! They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love’ Psalm 109:1-5

‘But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious’ Psalm 110:7

God was showing me that I wasn’t alone in this. God himself—powerful and holy as He is—knows what it is to have his heart broken. He’s fully engaged with me, pouring out His love on me and longing for me to love him back. When he made us, he designed us with the will to decide how we’d respond to him, and in doing so, he opened his heart to profound love—and profound heartache.

I found the Psalms are expressive with the desperate, honest vulnerable cries for help and this is what I needed right now.

‘As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be… Why am I so discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?’- Psalm 42:1-5.

‘From the depths of despair O LORD, I call for your help.’ – Psalm 130:1

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

David knew the secret to living lies in becoming vulnerable to God. David spent so much time alone with his sheep on the hillside as a young boy, that he stormed onto the battlefield armed only with a slingshot because He trusted the “living God” to help him defeat a giant named Goliath. When you spend this kind of time alone with God, you learn that God looks down on humans with love and understanding: He listened, and then looked to God. He let the truths and promises of Scripture fill his hearts and minds as he walked through those challenging situations and circumstances.

In other words, that’s why David can cry out to God with such vulnerability. The only way to receive help is to admit our need of it. God designed us with the will to decide how we’d respond to him, and in doing so, he opened his heart to profound love – and profound heartache. When you feel like your heart is broken, remember that nothing about this place is ordinary. You are uniquely poised, at this very moment, to share an intimate part of God’s character. It’s the place of the broken heart, and it is sacred ground

We are most powerful when we are vulnerable

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage… When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives and our work.” Dr. Brené Brown

Jesus asks us to wield the power that He did – the power of a love that burns with vulnerability. He asks us to let others into our lives because that’s what He did – because that’s what love does. When we’re vulnerable we hold nothing back, we give ourselves out of love –  offering to those who receive us the opportunity to return that love back to us.

The light of the gospel exposes the human heart. But the gospel doesn’t end with our darkness. It exposes the darkness in our hearts for the very reason that God wants to give us His light instead. The only requirement is our honesty, vulnerability and humility. The only requirement for receiving God’s help is asking for it.

I was able to embrace my brokenness in order that God’s power might be displayed. It is the reminder I need daily. God is sufficient. God is good. God loves me. And Jesus Christ will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter how weak or vulnerable I may be, I can look to Christ, whose grace is sufficient for us and made perfect in our weaknesses. ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9

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