The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. ~(Psalm 51:17)
If you’re a Christian and you’ve ever suffered loss, ever felt vulnerable and unprotected, ever felt you were sinking, drowning, crumbling at your core, then you’ve probably also wondered what I have, “Where are You, God?” or simply asked God, “Why?” If you’ve prayed to feel His presence and instead felt absence, prayed to hear His voice and heard deafening silence, prayed for a restored marriage then numbly watched the divorce finalized, prayed for healing and watched loved ones die, if you’ve placed your trust in Him and still felt that burning sting of disappointment, then you’ve encountered the God of which I speak, the God who wants to break your heart.
Of course I’m not suggesting God is some aloof, or worse, sadistic being, deriving pleasure from our pain. However, I am saying that if we’ll ever fulfill our God-ordained purpose, we’ll have to be broken to fit the God-shaped mold for our lives. In “Finding My Way Home,” Henri Nouwen asserts that when Christ cried out, “It is finished,” He didn’t only mean what He’d done, but also what others had done to Him – that He stayed on the cross until all that needed to be done to Him could be done in order to fulfill His purpose. If we’re committed to God and truly passionate about adopting His desires, His thoughts, His ways, then we’ll welcome His process, His breaking, His remaking. We’ll allow His breaking to fulfill our life’s purpose.
I believe God breathes on us in a gentle way to bend our will into submission to His, but much like Jacob, we wrestle. In our striving, though, we encounter the God who loves us enough to break what will not bend. Pastor Howard-John Wesley said, “God knows that life outside of His will is not in your best interest, and He loves you too much not to use everything in His sovereign omnipotence to get you to surrender to His will…we serve a God who, if blessing you doesn’t change your life, [He] has enough love to break you in the right place.” I believe the “right place” for God to break us is our hearts, the wellspring of our inconsistent desires and stubborn wills.
The admonishment in Joel 2:12-13 is to “rend your hearts, not your garments” and return to the Lord with your whole hearts. The message is that the outward appearance of repentance, contrition, and obedience mean nothing if our sinful hearts remain unbroken and turned away from God. The good news is that God waits on us. He waits to be gracious toward us and show us mercy (Isaiah 30:18). My mentor shared her belief that God sometimes withholds His provision until we seek His presence. Perhaps what we’ve thought was God’s silence was His megaphone to help us diligently seek Him. Perhaps what felt like God’s absence was His patience. Perhaps God knows that only desperate, broken hearts can receive His transforming love.
Shannon Alder said, “Blessed are those with cracks in their broken heart because that is how the light gets in.” God wants in, and a broken heart provides a blessed route.I believe God is determined to do a new thing in and through us, and the old places won’t facilitate new growth. In a recent sermon, Pastor MyRon Edmonds said that unless we learn to get vulnerable with God and get broken, our old ways will keep taking us down the same road. But the blessing of God’s breaking is that “once GOD breaks you, nobody else can!” Heart Check: Do you trust God to break those parts of you that won’t bend in submission to His sovereignty? Do you believe the breaking He’s sending is better than the blessing you’re seeking? God wants to break your heart. Will you let Him?
I originally posted this on The Haystack.
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Amen my sister, Amen !!
Thanks so much for sharing this and the personal testimony. God’s so good. He’s so nice to me! Blessings!
EXCELLENT post !! I was graced with salvation for just over 7 years, before I finally got to the point where I was broken… My peace and my joy were gone !!
I had taken back control from the Holy Spirit… I believe it was C.H. Spurgeon’s preaching from 1859, on “Grieving the Holy Spirit” that got me down on my knees asking the Lord to take back control of my life… Praise God for His longsuffring when I wasn’t walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16)
Now, trying to remain “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18-20) is my priority in life, as the Holy Spirit now directs me by a constant renewing of my mind through 1 John 1:9… as I do my best to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” from Romans 12:1-2…
Blessings in Christ, bruce
Blessings to you, Bruce! Thank you so much for sharing that…yes, the almighty control..mercy, may we learn to let it go and like Paul, die DAILY…daily dying to self, daily living in Christ…only by His Spirit, indeed! i thank God for breaking both of us, for keeping us seeking the BEST thing for us. i’m blessed to have been broken and to have found He ALONE is good, and He alone is GOD! 🙂
I’ve been broken several times.. Sometimes it felt as though God has completely forsaken me and I am of no good. But one Scripture the Holy Spirit uses to encourage my heart is Deuteronomy 31:6.
This post is so true and encouraging and inspirational. I like this part: ‘blessed are those cracks in their broken hearts because that’s how the light gets in’.
Blessings to you ..
God’s blessings to you, Grace! I’ve experienced brokenness, as well, and am so glad for His encouraging Word and words! Glad you could be encouraged, and thanks for reading along and commenting!