Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why God Breaks Our Hearts

Hey Friend,
This post is totally not what I was intending to write on, but funny how God has a way of making His agenda known.
The most dangerous prayer I have ever prayed was Lord, break my heart with what breaks Yours.
The Lord, God answered that prayer and today I felt my heart breaking in two and I knew without a doubt that God's heart must be breaking too.  So why on earth would God want to break our hearts?  Doesn't he want us to have life and to have it abundantly?  Yes, to that too.
Ultimately, however, God cares more about our character than he does about our creature comforts. 
God ultimately wants to conform us to the image of Christ and if there was ever a man with a broken heart, it was Christ.
We may not be able to wrap our tiny minds around the concept that Jesus was fully God AND fully man.  The fully man part, we do get.  Jesus wept with those who wept.  He mourned with those who mourned. 
John 11:35 (the shortest verse in the Bible) says: Jesus wept.
It is the shortest verse, but perhaps the most telling and emotionally packed.  Jesus wept out of sympathy with those in tears all around him, as well as from a deep sense of misery that sin had brought on human nature.
So what happens when our hearts are allowed to be broken?
It gives us a glimpse into God's/Christ's compassion for us.  For perhaps the first time we see what they see and feel what they feel.
It draws us into a deep relationship/dependence/reliance on God.  Sad as it is so say, if we skipped through life with never a broken heart, we would not have a need for God.
It keeps us from being self-absorbed and self-centered.  When our heart is broken it forces us out of our self-centered universe and directs our attention onto others.
It allows Love to flow into/out from us.  When our heart is broken, we not only inhale, we feverishly gulp in God's love.  Once filled, we have reserves that are able to naturally flow out from us.
It keeps us expectantly waiting on joy - whether it's joy after a night of sorrow or the joy of eternal life.  Without the dark, we cannot truly appreciate the light.  Without pain and sorrow, we cannot truly experience joy.
I have several examples of how God has allowed my heart to break and why...
My experiences with depression and an anxiety disorder (OCD) have given me a heart for others who also suffer.  I'm afraid, that without my own experiences, I may have grown judgmental or intolerant - thinking it was a character weakness or lack of faith.
I think I have had enough injuries and ailments that have required numerous surgeries, procedures, and rehabs.  Having not been able to walk at all for a month gave me a new appreciation for the person who will never get up out of a wheelchair and walk.  I look at disabilities in a whole new light and renewed admiration for the lion hearts that lie beneath.
Had I not experienced the rejection and betrayal that infidelity and divorce bring with it, I would not understand the strength needed to be a single parent and deal with loneliness and isolation.
If I had never wept over a wayward child I couldn't begin to understand how God sees us when we choose our own destructive path over choosing his life-giving way.
If God hadn't allowed my heart to break over the injustice of the director of a Christian school in Pakistan and the children who walk down the street with targets on their backs because they follow Christ, I would not have the passion I have to fight evil wherever it exists. 
I no longer take walking safely down my street for granted, and I shake my head over those who continue to live with their head stuck in the sand.
Because, that's not how Christ lived...He allowed His heart to break for those who were/are hurting.
True that sometimes, oftentimes hurts is not for the faint of heart.
Ultimately though, when my heart has been broken it allows me to have love and compassion for others whose hearts have been broken too.  Together we can weep, but more importantly, then it gives me the opportunity to share the Joy and Hope that is in me.  What a glorious invitation that is to share that my one, true, Joy and Hope, lies in Christ and Christ alone.
This is the awesome story of Grace and that with broken hearts we can share with others whose hearts have been broken.
Jesus broke the bread saying, "This is my body, which is [broken] for you; do this in remembrance of me."  (1 Corinthians 11:24)
Lord, thank you for breaking my heart with the things that break your heart.  Thank you for allowing me to begin to see others from Your vantage point.  Help me to have a heart and a listening ear for those who are hurting.  Let the love that you have poured out on me, pour out onto them.  When invited, enable me to share, with joy, the hope that is in me.  Thank you for Jesus' body and blood that were broken and shed for me.  Give me a heart of gratitude.  In Jesus' name, Amen.
Be blessed...
ps. A little orphan girl named Noor recently came in through the doors of Redeemer Christian School.  Up until then she was a childhood slave forced to sweep and clean and do chores (a modern day Cinderella - only hers is no fairytale and there's no ball or Prince Charming).  But, she is being introduced to the Prince of Peace through the scriptures and is being given a chance at an education. Will you help keep the doors of the school open for her?
Send contributions to:  Bev Rihtarchik/RCS
                                       103 Silver Lining Lane
                                       Cary, NC  27513
Thank you...please, please pray for the safety of the director, teachers, and children!