Continued from here.
In my last blog entry, I shared a Bible verse for when we are in deep pain:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18)
I spent most of my life brokenhearted. Actually, “shattered-hearted” would be a much better descriptor. I could not fathom how God could possible knit my heart back together when it had been ground into sawdust, but He gave me a new heart instead, one that feels as if it has never been broken. I have not forgotten what it felt like to have a shattered heart. Holding onto the memory of a shattered heart while living with a new heart drives home just how powerful and faithful God is.
A friend told me about her mother losing her brother (my friend’s uncle) in her late teens when he was killed in Vietnam. Her mother, who has been a Christian her entire life, said that God felt so close that she could almost reach out and touch him. She was still in an enormous amount of pain, but the reality of God’s presence provided her with comfort during one of the most painful seasons of her life.
It has been through experiencing the comfort of God in my anguish that I have learned how to comfort others. How do we comfort others? It’s not by distancing ourselves, is it? We comfort others by drawing close to them … by hugging them and holding them close … by reaching out to check in with them to see how they are doing … by listening to them. All aspects of comforting someone involve drawing near to them, not pulling away. So, why do we believe the lie that God pulls away from us when we are at our most broken?
Nowhere in the Bible does God promise us an easy life. Jesus actually promised us just the opposite:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
You are going to experience pain, struggle, and grief in this lifetime. It’s inevitable. What you DON’T have to experience is buying into the lie that God has abandoned you. When you are feeling like God is nowhere to be found, that’s when He has drawn the closest to you.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace inside a broken heart. Courtesy Bitmoji.]