Recently, a friend said to me, “Remember that Jesus wept. You can too. We ask God to keep a soft heart in us, so tears are ok- they are beautiful.” Those words opened my eyes and comforted my soul so intensely, it was as if I had never heard that scripture before: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
This world views sadness, brokenness, and weeping with a negative connotation. It pities the woman driving down the road in tears. It judges the man with a melancholy face.
Why? Because sadness is seen as unpleasant. Brokenness as inadequacy. Weeping as pathetic.
But, once again, I urge you to look at what the Bible has to say. The Bible has hundreds of comforting scriptures, God inspired, from wise authors. I’d like to focus on two: Psalm 51:17 and 2 Corinthians 12:9.
In Psalm 51, David writes, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Here, we see God desires and accepts a broken and contrite heart. To God, a broken heart is a moldable heart. To lay your brokenness down at his feet and welcome his tender shaping and shaving away is one of the most vulnerable, yet safe, places we can be as Christians. When our hearts are hard, it takes much more chipping, shaving, and mashing to work on us. However, similar to clay, when our hearts are soft, broken, and contrite, God can simply break us down and build us back up again, molding and shaping us into better condition than ever before.
Again, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul points to the positivity and blessings within weakness and hurt, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Did you catch that? Not only is weakness acceptable to God, but He delights in it as it perfects His power. When we allow the Lord to work through us and heal us, not only are we drawn closer to Him, but the world around us can see the marvelous, healing works of His hands. Additionally, we are to delight in weakness as well. Paul says he will “boast” about his weakness, and I think we should, too. Why? First, It is an opportunity to witness to others about Christ so they will come to know Him as we do. Second, I think it is to praise our Lord for all He has done within us. To acknowledge our fleeting power and ability compared to his limitless, never-ending, all-consuming splendor. To say, hey God I know I could not, and cannot, make it through this challenge on my own, but with you I will come out on top. I will walk through the valley singing praises. I will climb the mountain continually singing praises. I will stand on the mountain top shouting your praises- again.
In our most broken moments, we do not need to take a worldly perspective and beat ourselves up. Satan does plenty of that on his own. We need to adopt a Heavenly perspective, a spiritual mindset, and realize…
Brokenness is not unpleasant, inadequate, or pathetic.
Brokenness is a beautiful opportunity to grow, acknowledge the Lord’s power, and point others to Christ.
A broken heart does not need to be “fixed” or “restored.”
A broken heart needs thorough, inner change to propel it towards a Christlike heart.
Personally, I do not enjoy feeling broken because brokenness hurts. Like most people, I do not desire pain. I desire comfort. However, what my spirit most definitely desires is to become more Christlike, everyday. And when we make this perspective shift, our attitudes shift, our emotions shift, our actions shift, and the condition of our hearts shift.
This week, I challenge you to acknowledge your own brokenness, and that of others, for what it truly is.