Joel 2:12-13 (NLT) That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
Today – our hearts are broken. Our family will attend the funeral of our daughter’s best friend. It is a sad day. I know many young people whose hearts are broken and spirits crushed questioning the Goodness of God in the midst of such tragedy. I know that the verses chosen today are those calling for repentance. I think sometimes repentance is more than just repenting of sin but also taking our sorrow to the Lord. He is ready to receive every sorrow that touches our life and the longer life lived the more the baggage. What is it about untimely death that makes us turn back to God? To look for Him in details of life otherwise He is forgotten. Not that anyone intentionally decides to ignore God but He fades into the shadow of other priorities until the unthinkable or impossible arrives. Yet in the greatest of sorrows, it is human nature to cry out to the Lord. We call God to accountability for that which is not understood. Oh friend, I understand. I have done it, too.
Romans 2:28-29 (NLT) For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. What if it is in the things that break our heart that God can find a way to show is His Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness and fill us with His Unfailing Love? Most of us are familiar with natural circumcision as a procedure for newborn boys. Some are even knowledgeable about the religious significance of circumcision but what about a circumcised heart? The Word of God is alive and powerful described as a “two-edged sword” cutting between soul and spirit to expose our innermost thoughts and desires. What if it is in our grief that God can truly touch our otherwise hard and calloused heart?
Psalm 34:18 (NLT) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Is it not in moments of disappointment, despair and devastation that we turn to a Living God who has been patiently waiting and longing for us to come? Loss produces a need for restoration and when the sorrow breaks our heart – it is God we seek. When our spirit is crushed, our sense of need for Him is elevated to relieve our pain and soothe our suffering. We turn back to Him only to find that He is right there and the Lord has been the entire time.
Psalm 147:3 (NLT) He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
When presented with “life events” that just don’t make sense, and are beyond human understanding – it is God who offers us perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3) He gives us peace that passes our understanding. (Philippians 4:7) God heals the brokenhearted. He bandages (comforts) our wounds. He in the renewal and revival business. Resurrection power is his forte. Sin has produced a perpetual cycle of turmoil, trouble, loss and despair. It goes all the way back to the Garden. God in His Infinite Mercy and Grace because of His Great Love for us gave us a free will. We live in a world with a very real enemy. However, with Christ in us – there is overwhelming victory for those with a circumcised heart surrendered to the Living God. You cannot get medical attention outside a hospital and they will require signed consent. If you come to God – He will heal your broken heart and be your comfort.
Isaiah 61:3 (TLB) To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.
When our heart is broken and spirit is crushed, those who choose to turn to the Lord will experience beauty for ashes. Joy will replace their mourning. Praise will release their heaviness. They will have peace. They will be revived and restored. His Promise that He makes everything beautiful in His Time will be their own. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Today our hearts are broken. There is a tremendous loss. But I believe that it is in these times of profound devastation when our heart breaks in too many pieces to repair that God steps in to renew us again. Now a hard heart becomes one ready for His Masterpiece just as He promised. (Ephesians 2:10) His Promise to make good of every detail of our life now is real to us and His Glory is our purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Matthew 5:4 (TLB) Those who mourn are fortunate! For they shall be comforted.
Are you suffering a loss? Has there been a death of loved one? Is your heart broken? God can use a broken heart. He can do mighty things with those who mourn and turn to Him. He will first and foremost be your Comforter. He begins instantly to be Your Healer. He will restore and renew your crushed spirit. God is just waiting for you to turn to Him. He can give you peace where you lack understanding. He will replace your sorrow with joy. He will lift your heavy burden and give you praise. Jesus knows you are weary and heavy laden so He says, “Come to me!” (Matthew 11:28-30) God can do miracles with a broken heart. He can make you a conduit of blessing for others in their moment of greatest need. Though sorrow accompanies us at night – God’s Love, Joy and Peace will shine with the morning sun! Thank you God for being patient, loving and kind with hard hearted and hard headed people like me!