Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Lord Stays Near the Brokenhearted

A couple of weeks ago, after Sunday school I saw that Grant, my older son, had a big, fat band aid on the back of his hand. I worried, so I immediately asked him, “what happened?” He looked at me confused, so I pointed at the band aid on his hand and he said, “o yeah, Jane gave it to us to remind us that God heals the broken hearts.” I nodded in agreement as I looked at the oversize band aid that covered most of my son’s hand. “Yes, indeed,” I thought… “He sure is the only one who can really heal a broken heart.  He does carry around some super size band aids to do so.”

As the Word says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147: 3) He binds up or bandages the wounds of our hearts and He ultimately heals them too. He takes the pieces of our brokenness and glues them together in a way that makes them stick like new. In the process of binding up our wounds and healing, He also stays close to us. As Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” His loving presence is with us as our wounds heal. This implies the need for time. It is not automatic. God uses time as the band aid that binds up the pieces of our broken hearts. And as time goes by, He stays near.

While He heals us, though, it is important to remember that suffering is meant to make our lives significant. Being a Christian, having been chosen to follow Christ, does not mean that life is going to be easy and comfortable, without problems or challenges. On the contrary, the hope that we have in Christ is not the false hope of an idyllic and care-free existence. The hope that we have in Christ is that when, not if, when life becomes more than we can bear, He is there to hold us, to heal our brokenness, to bind up our wounds, and also to carry our burdens. Our suffering, our brokenness becomes our sacrifice, the sacrifice that we surrender at His feet as our offering. And this sacrifice He accepts and carries for His glory, as Psalm 51:17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

We are called to live lives of significance where the power of Christ shines through as we stand as witnesses of the victory we have in Him! When we go through trials by the Hand of Jesus, nobody can take credit but Him as the Merciful Healer who tends to our wounds for His glory. That is our hope, and we know that hope does not disappoint.

“We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5: 2-5)

Today, I think of that big band aid on Grant’s hand and I can’t help but to be nervous when confronted with the thought of him having to suffer the pain of a broken heart one day. But I also find comfort in knowing that the Great Healer will be right there, close to him, applying the soothing balm of time as He binds up the pieces and makes it new again. The Lord will bind up my boy's heart with the oversize band aids that He carries around : ) It is the truth. He is near the brokenhearted. That is our hope, and hope does not disappoint. Don’t ever doubt it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hiding in the Cleft of the Rock

It’s “funny” how the Holy Spirit works in us. I use the word “funny” for a lack of a better adjective since His inexpressibility and inexplicability have hit new heights in my life during the last few weeks. Hidden among a piling mountain of unexpected and rather unfortunate events, the Holy Spirit’s whisperings have slowly become louder, of perhaps I’ve just finally began to pay more attention lately.

The thing is that a few weeks ago I started thinking about my need to get back to the blog, but I have been so stressed out and busy that I have been postponing it until today. Health issues on one side, and work issues on the other, sandwiched in heart issues to make a truly messy “sloppy Joe’s.” In the midst of all these, the thought of hiding became very appealing to me.

I have wanted to hide from all the complications of life. I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to find a safe place where I could just collapse. I’ve wanted to hide in the arms of my Savior and forget about the world. As it happens, however, we can’t just run away from problems and difficulties. They have a way of finding us until we have properly dealt with them. What we can do, however, is to be still and know that He is God and that He is love. (Psalm 46: 10) As a loving God, He does provide a place of hiding. As the storms get stronger, He carves a cleft in the rock where He hides us until the storm is gone and we can come out again or until He calls us home.

He who commands the winds and the waves, He who created the winds and the waves, is on my side. His name is Faithful. He has been faithful before and He will be faithful again. He carves a place in the rock where we can rest protected. Just like He did with Moses when His glory was going to pass by, He placed Moses in the cleft of the rock and covered him so he would not be harmed by the power of the LORD’s presence. (Exodus 33: 22) The same way, the Lord, who is the Rock, carves a cleft, a hiding place for His beloved during times of hardship, until the sun comes out again, and darkness dissipates.

As I peak out of my hiding place, I see the radiance of His Light as He’s passed by. He takes care of His children. He does have a plan, and His plan is perfect even when we cannot understand it. He who began a work in me will see it to completion. (Philippians 1: 6) He is not done with me yet. His hand is upon me and I will trust in His unfailing love as I wait for daylight, for I know that “Joy comes in the morning!” (Psalm 30: 6)