Psalm 34:18 (NLT) The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
If you have ever had your heart broken you know how devastating that can be. When we think about a broken heart we immediately think about the breakup of a marriage or a close personal relationship. However, your heart can be broken because of a layoff, the death of a loved one, the end a family tradition, the closure of the doors of your church for the last time, your childhood home being destroyed in a fire, any number of things. Whatever the situation, getting over a broken heart can take days, months, years, or never.
The reason that it’s so hard to get over a broken heart can best be described with the word definition of the Hebrew word translated “broken”, in English. That word “shabar” means “to rend violently, wreck or crush; to maim, cripple, to shatter or break." "Shabar" is used to describe ships that had been splintered and torn from stem to stern due to ferocious and wild winds. It was also used to describe the action of tearing and ripping that wild, ravenous beasts performed upon their prey. It could literally be translated "the ruptured hearted ones."
The verse that I started this blog with is good news for those of us who have had or now have a broken heart.
I want to share something that I read today in my quiet time about how good God is to the broken hearted. This is from the devotional YouVersion Reading Plan “Holy Emotions - Biblical Responses to Every Challenge” by Carol McLeod and Just Joy Ministries
Healing The Broken Hearted
A broken heart is epically greater than mere disappointment and whips into our lives with a force that leaves everything forever changed. A broken heart will make you wretch with pain and heave with sorrow. A broken heart will leave you gasping for breath.
God knew that while we are living this side of heaven that there would be people, events and issues that would break the hearts of His beloved children and so He has a plan for the most devastating moment in your life.
The word "broken" in Hebrew is the word shabar and it means "to rend violently, wreck or crush; to maim, cripple, to shatter or break." The ancient Hebrew is a very descriptive language and so this word shabar comes not only with a definition, but also with situations that it was used in the description of. This word was used to describe ships that had been splintered and torn from stem to stern due to ferocious and wild winds. It was also used to describe the action of tearing and ripping that wild, ravenous beasts performed upon their prey. It could literally be translated "the ruptured hearted ones."
The word for "heart" in this particular Scripture is the word leb and it is referring to the soul or heart of a man. It encompasses one's moral character, appetites, emotions, passions and even the mind and the memory.
When the Psalmist declares that "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted," his words are words spoken with tender care and great compassion. He is reminding all of Christendom in the epochs yet to come that the Lord is lovingly attentive to those who are enduring unimaginable pain. This pain may have been caused by a great tempest in your life or by a wild and ferocious person, but the Lord is standing attentively beside you paying diligent attention to your shattered and bleeding heart.
If you have ever suffered from this torturous condition, I can assure you that you were never out of God's care. If, today, you are emotionally torn apart and wonder how you will make it through one more today, I want to comfort you with the surety that He is with you now.
Psalm 147:1-3 (NLT)1 Praise the LORD! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!2 The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
There is a well-treasured saying that even Christians take comfort from during times of duress and tragedy, "Time heals all wounds."
May I just tell you loudly - I OBJECT!! Time has no inherent healing power. Only God has healing power! I know women who are just as bitter and angry today as they were ten years ago. Time hasn't healed their souls. I know women who are playing the blame game louder today than they were 30 years ago. Time has not healed these exhausted, hoarse women.
Only Jesus has healing power and so if you have a broken heart and long for comfort, then you must burrow into His presence where miracles happen not because of time, but because of Him. Are you allowing the nurturing closeness that He gives especially to the brokenhearted to heal your heart today?
No one can mend a broken heart but the Lord. Other people's words will encourage you and bring a measure of healing but the ultimate healing is always from the Lord. Kind deeds and gestures may remove the sting from a broken heart, but nothing and no one other than the Lord can place that crowning healing touch on your life. He has the power, love and divine skill to actually cure you from the extraordinary pain that you are going through.
God is able to restore your soul and perform a spiritual heart transplant if that is what it takes to move you into health and hope again. This seems impossible when you have a broken heart but it is not impossible to God! The will of God is always restoration and healing.
We can easily understand the concept that the Holy Spirit is endeavoring to communicate through the psalmist in the phrase, " - and binds up their wounds." The word picture that is being painted through the Hebrew language is the beautiful illustration of a tailor gently mending and sewing together that which was torn apart. If you have a broken heart, friend, I know Someone who has the expert skills to easily and perfectly mend it. Not only is He able to repair your broken heart, but He has the desire to do it.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.