Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
How does a Christian deal with a broken heart? When God does the mending, the healed heart is actually healthier after the break than it was prior to the devastation.
"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the contrite in spirit" (Ps. 34:18).
The word "broken" in Hebrew is the word shabar, and it means "to rend violently, wreck or crush; to maim, cripple, to shatter or break." This word was used to describe ships that had been splintered and torn from stem to stern due to ferocious and wild winds. It was also used to describe the action of tearing and ripping that wild, ravenous beasts performed upon their prey. It could literally be translated "the ruptured-hearted ones."
The word for "heart" in this particular Scripture is the word leb, and it is referring to the soul or heart of a man. It encompasses one's moral character, appetites, emotions, passions and even the mind and the memory.
When the psalmist declares that "The Lord is near to the broken-hearted," his words are words spoken with tender care and great compassion. He is reminding all of Christendom in the epochs yet to come that the Lord is lovingly attentive to those who are enduring unimaginable pain. This pain may have been caused by a great tempest in your life or by a wild and ferocious person but the Lord is standing attentively beside you paying diligent attention to your shattered and bleeding heart.
If you have ever suffered from this torturous condition, I can assure you that you were never out of His care. If, today, you are emotionally torn apart and wonder how you will make it through one more today, I want to comfort you with the surety that He is with you now. God is close to you and has wrapped His arms of love around your life.
If you have a broken heart, you can count on His presence and His closeness to bind up your wounds and to begin the healing process. Do not push Him away at these moments of brokenness, but welcome Him gladly and receive the comfort that He has for you. So many Christians squeeze God out of their lives at the very time they need Him most desperately and when He has promised to stay close.
"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds" (Ps. 147:3).
No one can mend a broken heart but the Lord. Other people's words will encourage you and bring a measure of healing but the ultimate healing is always from the Lord. Kind deeds and gestures may remove the sting from a broken heart, but nothing and no one other than the Lord can place that crowning healing touch on your life. He has the power, love and divine skill to actually cure you from the extraordinary pain you are going through.
We can easily understand the concept that the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to communicate through the Psalmist in the phrase, " ... and binds up their wounds." The word picture being painted through the Hebrew language is the beautiful illustration of a tailor gently mending and sewing together that which was torn apart. If you have a broken heart, friend, I know someone who has the expert skills to easily and perfectly mend it. Not only is He able to repair your broken heart, but He has the desire to do it.
"Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4).
Jesus has taken all the things that have broken your heart to the cross of Calvary. He took the events that brought emotional pain into your heart and died for them on the old rugged cross. He did not want you to carry the griefs and the sorrow, and so He did it for you. He took it so you could carry the joy and gladness and rejoicing with you throughout your entire life. You don't have to carry the pain; it has already been carried and laid at the foot of the cross.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:4-6,).
And finally, allow me to gently and tenderly remind you that God has not stopped being God because you are in the valley. He has not stopped being a God of goodness and kindness because you have a broken heart.
We would all love to spend our lives on the top of a mountain. How rejuvenating to breathe in that fresh mountain air and take in the magnificent view! You can see things on the mountaintop that you would never see from the valley.
None of us wants to buy real estate in the valley of despair and disappointment. There is an extremely limited vision in the lower places, and you are not able to see beyond the next grove of trees.
And yet it is in the valley where vegetation grows and where flowers bloom. There is no growth on the top of a mountain but only rocks and boulders in abundance. The top of a mountain is no place to put down roots; that happens in the valley below. It is in the valley where the most magnificent growth of your life will happen, and it is there that the fruits of the Spirit will grow in lush abundance. In the valley where your heart was broken will be the place of your greatest harvest.
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