What do you do with a broken heart? No really?
It can come from all kinds of places. Divorce. Job loss. Rejection. Death of friends and loved ones.
So many people have lost precious loved ones, parents, mates and even children; what do you do with that kind of gut-wrenching loss? The grief?
Or the broken-heartedness that come from disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes? What do you do when you are living through the heartbreak of a nasty and unexpected divorce? Or downsizing? Or financial distress?
Brokenness is all around us.
Ever felt like Humpty Dumpty…broken beyond repair? While all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t repair Mr. Dumpty, there is no brokenness too big for God to heal.
With all the things that are whirling around us, I’ve felt the need for new strength.
A strength beyond what I am capable of producing; a strength that is
more durable, yet
shareable. That is really important to me. I want you to be strong too!
I’ve discovered that strength doesn’t come from understanding “why” it happens.
I can’t answer why. If bad things only happened to bad people, I might try to form an explanation. But the truth is…they happen to the best of people.
But when things happen that I can’t explain,
I default to my core value…
God is Good! Period! End of story!
I may not understand it, but I won’t blame it on God either. God is way smarter than I am, so I gave up a long time ago trying to give God advice. His ways are higher than mine.
I also know that the Devil is evil and we live in a fallen world.
But the “why” question is simply too big for me to unravel…from the books I read and the Scriptures I’ve searched, God doesn’t seem to offer much of an explanation. It remains a mystery that refuses to fit in any of my neat little boxes.
“God’s ultimate answer to suffering isn’t an explanation; it’s the incarnation.” Lee Strobel Tweet this!
I love that quote. I have used it so many times. It has reminded me again and again that what we really need is God’s presence. So, instead of wrangling the “why” question…I go to what…no let me be more accurate… I run to WHO is always the ANSWER. I am deeply thankful that God heals broken hearts…broken people. I have seen first-hand, that God doesn’t look the other way when He sees broken people, instead He comes close to heal and restore broken lives.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Oklahoma City
takes us to that reality and points us to Jesus with a poignant and riveting memorial that is dedicated to those that died and the lives that were forever changed by the Murrah Building bombing.
On April 19, 1995, at 9:02 a truck bomb containing 4,800 pounds of explosives, built by Timothy McVeigh, exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. One third of the building was destroyed.
The bomb created a 30 foot wide crater. It killed 168 men, women and children and wounded over 680 more. The blast damaged or totally destroyed 324 buildings in an area that covered 4 blocks. It shattered glass in 258 additional buildings. The blast was heard and felt 55 miles away!
St. Joseph’s Church and rectory sat across the street from the Murrah Building. Most of the beautiful stained glass windows were blown out and it suffered extensive damage. The Rectory was totally destroyed. It was replaced with a solemn and beautiful memorial.
While it is gut-wrenching and mind boggling to be reminded of the devastation, for me it was kissed with hope. The memorial is an Italian marble statue of Jesus weeping with bent shoulders,
surrounded by 19 black pillars, which represents the children that were lost in the bombing.
Jesus is facing a wall built of the same material as the pillars with 168 gapping holes to represent the people that are missing from loved ones lives.
The base is inscribed with the simple fact… “And Jesus wept.”
And Jesus still does!
He has compassion when He sees your broken heart & pain.
Lets look at John 11. Mary and Martha knew that Jesus would want to know. (Have you ever felt like nobody really cared about the situation you were facing? It’s an awful, almost debilitating feeling!) But they didn’t feel that way.
They knew Jesus cared, because they KNEW, absolutely without a doubt, that Jesus loved Lazarus and that He would want to know what was going on. So they sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Do you know…absolutely KNOW that God loves you? Then you also know that He want you to tell Him all about what is going on in your life, right?
What He did next is baffling!
“v5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” That is a very methodical verse. Slowly naming each character in the drama and affirming his love for them.
“v6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,”
Why Does He Wait Two days?
Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to die. He knew He was going to raise him from the dead. He knew it was important for them to experience this because it would build their faith. (v14) 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35Jesus wept. Why did Jesus weep? He came to heal Lazarus. He knew what was next…still He was deeply moved and He wept.
The people thought Jesus was weeping because He loved Lazarus so much, but that couldn’t have been why He wept! Lazarus was about to experience resurrection!! Jesus wept for them–the living ones that were ravaged with pain;
because of their limited ability to see what was really happening! They couldn’t see or know what God had in store.
He wept for them!
Jesus identified with and felt their pain.If you are a believer, then Jesus lives in you and if you feel pain wouldn’t it make sense that He feels it too!
Hebrews 4:15 NLT “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”
He doesn’t run from your pain.
He runs to your pain!
Jesus won’t force Himself on you. But He is there in tenderness, to comfort and infuse you with His strength.
Close to those with a broken heart.
Psalms 34:18 NLT The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I think it is even plainer in the Contemporary English Version The LORD is there to rescue all who are discouraged and have given up hope. Psalms 34:18 CEV
Sometimes we are weak. There is no use pretending that we are strong. Our strength has limits and God understands that.
So when you are weak…Access His Strength. HE IS ALWAYS STRONG!
- Run to Jesus!
- Run to Scripture!
- You don’t have to have the right words. You don’t have to have any words.
- Surrender the why question and embrace Jesus.
- Let His love flood your being.
- Let His grace absorb your pain!
- And do it again and again and again until you are whole…really whole!
Zephaniah 3:17 says “He will quiet you by His love.”
I don’t know how you view that verse. But there have been times that I literally felt God had me in His arms and was rocking me, like a mother comforts her baby.
So I repeat the question again, “What do you do with a broken heart?”
- You run to Jesus!
- Allow Him comfort and soothe you!
- Let His love wash over your soul and emotions!
He wants you whole…and you can be, no matter what has happened to you. It can take time, but don’t give up! I wish I could touch you…hug you…but my reach is so short. So I point you to the strong arms of Jesus.
His touch brings life…healing…hope.
Sometimes God heals our broken heart differently than we expect! So I wanted to give you two resources that would dive deeper into the subject.
Here are two links that you can use to build your faith and/or help you encourage someone else as well. Lee Strobel Article in Christianity Today Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering?
Phillip Yancy wrote a probing, powerful book on grief, “The Question that Never Goes Away”. I noticed it is on sale from time to time at christianbooks.com. It’s hard to read the grief stricken things that he has seen in the first few chapters. I could hardly get through them, but the following chapters are packed with gentleness and precious gems to help us help grieving people. Let Him Comfort You
I’d love to share my free ebook that will help you be stronger. Check it out at the link below.
Want more on the subject?
Big Take Away– “God’s ultimate answer to suffering isn’t an explanation; it’s the incarnation.” Lee Strobel We don’t have to understand why to receive God’s love and strength. He is with you in your darkest hours and beyond them as well.