Having raised chidren and now grandchildren it is inevitable that something will eventually get broken, whether it is fine china, or electronics or just toys.
Besides broken “things” that can be associated with raising children there is also a possibility that there may be accidents and injuries. That was the case the night my 13-year-old son broke his arm while riding his bike down an incredibly dangerous hill. Several doctor visits and operations later his arm was almost as good as new. But he has a permanent battle scar down his arm to prove his injury.
But what happens when your heart is broken? What about those scars? That is harder to fix because it is hidden. “Above all else guard your heart for EVERYTHING you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23. (NIV) We make choices from our heart that can affect our lives and those around us. That is why we are warned to guard it.
Matthew 15:18 states, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person.” (NET)
You don’t have to look far to see hatred, violence and anger. It is all over the news these days. Sometimes I wonder what the condition of the heart of an individual is that reacts with such vileness. Were they abused or abandoned? Are there unresolved issues that have lingered from childhood into adulthood? Maybe there was brokenness over a death or disappointment. Bitterness and resentment may have crept into the cracks of a broken heart causing hurt and anger.
We have all gone through situations that were difficult or circumstances that were unfair. Some may be trivial while others devastating. But what is important is not neccesarily the broken heart but what we allow to enter into the cracks that were created through our brokenness.
Do we allow bitterness or healing to enter into our hearts?
We, in the Christian community, have heard the verse, “By his stripes you are healed” found in Isaiah. Most of the time we think of that as a physical healing. And I believe that it was and is. But what about our emotional healing? What about the area of the heart?
I believe that Christ died — gave up his life willingly– for every area of our lives. He freed us from our sin, from fear, from sickness, from heartache, and from bondage of any kind and ultimately from eternal death. That is not to say that we will never experience hard things, but we can accept his healing power in the midst of heartache.
Psalm 147:3 states “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (NLT)
How gentle and caring is our God. He heals our broken hearts. He is familiar with heartache and pain. Often times we try to heal the brokenness of our hearts ourselves through relationships, careers, fascinating adventures, money, and substance abuse and even violence. But ultimately only He can heal our hearts completely. It is the brokenness of our hearts that draws him close.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
But he doesn’t necessarily replace our brokeness into what it was before. Instead he replaces it with his light, with his love. So it is no longer us that shines, but it is his light that shines through those cracks.
Do your remember the light sticks that glow only when they are broken? They are similar to our broken hearts. Sometimes the light only comes through after the brokeness. When we are crushed all we have is the light that is shining within. The broken pieces never get put back together exactly as they were before because we are human and we bear the mark of the injury just as my son did with the scar on his arm. But Jesus can fill that place of brokenness, if you let him. And the light that shines through those cracks of imperfection can actually be used as a beacon.
Have you noticed that insects are drawn to a light shining in the dark of night? That is why those light zappers work so well. But we are drawn to the light that shines in the darkness, as well. And that light is Jesus. We may be cracked pots, so to speak, but if we allow the light of Jesus to bring healing to our souls, that same light can also bring healing to others that are walking through similar experiences. It’s amazing because those very areas of brokenness, those very arrows of destruction that were meant to destroy us and to break us are actually the very things that can be used to draw people to the hope of Chirst.
“Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it.” Genesis 50:20a (GWT) You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to let HIS perfection shine through the cracks and brokeness of your life.