How many times have you read this quote by Deanna Wadsworth? “Four things you can’t recover: The stone after the throw, The word after it’s said, The occasion after it’s missed, The time after it’s gone.” Can I add one more? The fifth thing you can’t recover is a heart after it’s broken. You can’t unbreak a heart.
Have you ever experienced a sadness so deep that it feels like you have a hole in your heart; one so huge nothing can fill it? Maybe it was a heated disagreement with a friend, a series of destructive arguments with your spouse, or maybe your trust was violated. These are not scratch and dent level experiences where an application of forgiveness and a splattering of kindness makes the patch almost invisible. A broken heart has been wounded hollow; shattered, empty, sucked dry. You can’t unbreak a heart. In Psalm 34:18 we are promised “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Did you catch that? The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Nothing touches the human spirit like the filling station of God. The wounds are still there and scars may never fade completely, but as we learn in Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Where do broken hearts come from? There is one easy answer: human nature. Human nature that’s a homogenized version of good, bad, pride, humility, ego, character, truth, deception, honor, disgrace, love, hate, dignity, disrespect. It’s complicated, we are complicated, the world is complicated. James knew this when he wrote an entire book on how to get along with ourselves and people who are just like us – human to the core. James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” That’s a good place to start – be dear brothers and sister – act as if you desire to produce the behavior God desires.
Recently I read the story of Hosea. Wow! If you struggle with forgiveness, read what God required of Hosea. From our human perspective we don’t want to be wrong and we are angry when someone wrongs us. That’s the story of Hosea, wronged yet he forgave. He had to be brokenhearted, hollowed out, and in need of healing, spiritual filling. The final verse in the book sums it up beautifully Hosea 14:9 “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”
Broken hearts can’t be unbroken, but they can be mended, stitched back together, and filled up. Will they ever be the same? After surgery, are we ever exactly the same as we were? No, but we live on, altered but alive. This could be our prayer to live the behavior God desires in us. Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”
Ready friends? 1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Let’s get out there!
Republished by request.