VERSE: “Know ye not that …ye are not your own?” 1 Cor. 6:19
OSWALD: “Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says – ‘Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.’ If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” (November 1st)
There is nothing more devastating, humanly speaking, than a broken heart. And yet, in God’s economy, nothing holds more potential for growth and Christ-likeness than those wounds that have seemingly shattered us beyond repair.
I was surprised this week to find I’m still dealing with residue of heartbreak. So many years past the pain, I had expected to be fully healed by now. To be able to clearly articulate all the benefits of the breaking. To neatly tie up the loose ends of my experience into a spiritual analogy I could share with the world.
But, instead, I’m still wandering somewhere in the “land of inbetween” – that difficult “mean”time that stretches between our hurt and God’s redemption of the pain.
However, I’m reminded that while I can’t necessarily see the value of my heartbreak right now, that doesn’t mean the benefit isn’t already at work. Time-lapse understanding is always hard on our humanity. We need our pain to make sense so we can file it away properly and move on to better things. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. But I’m learning that I’ve got to let God do the filing. For only He knows how to categorize the work He’s doing in me.
More importantly, I’ve got to give Him my heartbreak so He can do another kind of “filing” – that all-important shaping, honing work that seems to happen best in the difficulties and injustices of life. The “iron sharpening iron” process that makes me less and less like me. And more and more like Him.
Unfortunately, the temptation is always there, as Oswald points out, “to sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity.” But I don’t want to miss the gift of suffering. That mysterious opportunity Paul says we have to “fill up in [our] flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church” (Col 1:24 NKJV).
I’m so glad I have a Savior who understands the pain of a broken heart and yet takes me by His nail-pierced hand and helps me to arise. To enter into a deeper fellowship with Him – perhaps the sweetest reward of being broken.
But Oswald reminds us there are other rewards as well: “If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.”
What a strange paradox this is! That through our breaking, we find our making. Though we may not fully understand the “whys” of our circumstance, Lord, we trust that You will bring Your purposes to pass. In our lives and in the world we live. Though it involves pain, thank You for including us in the process.
From the bottom of our still-being-mended hearts.