“Even now,” declares the Lord,Joel 2:12 NIV
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Our hearts are easily broken as we walk this journey called Life. We experience heartaches through the lose of a loved one to death or the lose of a relationship through a misunderstanding or a divorce. We know the shame, regret and sorrow of our sins or poor choices that led to devastating consequences. Or we have broken hearts as a result of being rejected, judged and humiliated. The pain is excruciating and there seems to be no way to ever get the pain to stop. At times the desire to give up on life is more intense than a matador staring down a charging bull.
We begin to realize that we are unable to fix our “problem.” We can’t fix our broken heart. The realization that I am powerless over this “problem” leads me to the end of my rope and myself.
What do I do? How did I get in this mess to begin with? Why did this happen to me? Where do I turn? Oh, the myriad of questions that run through our minds. I feel so defeated. Believe it or not, that is actually where God desires us to be.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;Psalm 51:17 NIV
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
God desires for us to turn to him! He wants our broken hearts. He does not require that we fix ourselves before coming to him. God will not despise us or turn his back on us. Truth be told, a broken heart is actually beautiful and precious to God.
“Blessed (happy) are the poor in spirit,Matthew 5:3
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What does that mean? How can a broken heart be beautiful and precious? God knows that we are unable to fix our own broken heart. He knows what a broken heart feels like as he watched his own son, Jesus, walk on this earth and choose to die on a cross because he desired to fulfill his Father’s will. God’s heart had been broken as he watched all of his created people live in sin and try to live their lives their own way, without his help.
A beautiful broken heart is one that realizes that it needs help. It knows it has done wrong and has sinned against God. The person with a beautiful broken heart becomes willing to turn to God and say, “Not my will, but your will be done.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “contrite” as follows:
Literally, worn or bruised. Hence, broken-hearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God; humble; penitent; as a contrite sinner.http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/contrite
God is literally filled with joy when we stop trying to fix ourselves and turn towards him, asking him for his help. God tells us in Joel 2:12, “…return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” He asks us to confess our sin to him, which means to be in agreement with him, to own and take responsibility for our wrongdoing.
Our human mind may see this as weakness. That somehow we are less than when we ask for help. Recently someone explained to me that weakness means dependency. As I pondered that definition, it makes sense to me. In my weakness of having a broken heart, I came to realize my dependency on perfectionism, workaholism, and escaping reality with porn was not working. I needed instead to be dependent on God. That is a good thing.
But he said to me, “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 NIV
Also remember, when we come to God with our broken heart and ask for his help, God doesn’t magically or miraculously make our heart perfect again. He allows our hearts to continue to show its wounds and scars because our hearts are precious to him. God sees our pain, wounds and scars and reminds us that we need to continue to depend on him, and not on our compulsions or addictions. Jesus did not heal Paul’s “thorn in his flesh.” Instead he asked Paul to hold on to his grace because it is enough!
God desires for us to become his messengers as broken vessels through which he can reach out to others who have broken hearts. God gives us the precious gift of understanding what others are experiencing simply because we have experienced something similar. This is very comforting to someone who has hidden their broken heart from everyone’s view out of fear of being found out or being judged as unworthy.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
I know for myself, I hid my addiction from everyone for many years because of the fear of disappointing others in not being the perfect Christian woman that I wanted everyone to believe I was. I was actually living a double life. I put on a great show for all the people around me that I had everything all together in my life, yet behind closed doors I was coping with confusing, negative feelings and anger by numbing out with pornography and having fantasies and orgasms by masturbating.
When I turned to Jesus and confessed my idol worship to him and told someone I trusted about my secrets, exposing my broken heart, God received me with open arms – not to condemn me but to love me, to fulfill all my needs, to help me realize I was not alone and that there were others who were in the very same situation. His grace is truly sufficient and I can now say, “I am enough! I am pure!”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9 NIV
God wants our broken hearts so he can make us his instruments. He will receive our broken hearts and then he will redeem and restore our precious hearts. As I continue living on this earth, I intend with all of my broken and contrite heart, to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and allow him to use me in giving compassion and comfort to others who have broken hearts.
Please share with me in the comments below how your own broken heart has been embraced by God as he desires to restore your heart too. Or, if you have not yet experienced God’s embrace of your broken heart, let me know and I will connect with you and help you to experience God’s compassion and comfort.