This week, a sweet friend called me to tell me her favorite aunt had died unexpectedly. This same aunt had raised my friend since she was a young child after her parents were killed in a car accident. Everything dear to my friend had been taken from her much too soon.
Her heart was broken. Her pain was deep. Her emotions raw. And I fell inadequately short on words. Sobbing, she asked if I would pray. We talked a bit more and I promised to check in on her later that day. While working online, I came across this short devotion from a pastor who has also experienced a devastating loss. While it is not the right time to share this with my friend, Pastor Rick’s words help me better understand God’s bigger plan. For now, I will pray for my friend, share her tears, and “be there” to listen. I hope these words are encouraging for you.
6 Ways God Blesses a Broken Heart
BY RICK WARREN
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NCV)
Every one of us will experience loss in our lives. So how does God heal your broken heart? You don’t get over a loss. You can’t go under it; you can’t go around it. You’ve got to go through the grief. And if you’re scared to express emotion and refuse to go through it, that’s where you get stuck.
But how do you get unstuck? You let God help you. There are six ways God blesses a broken heart.
- God draws you close to himself. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed” (NCV). When you grieve, you often feel like God is a million miles away. But what you feel and what’s real are not always the same thing. God’s not a million miles away. In fact, he’s never been any closer.
- God grieves with you. The Bible says, “[Jesus was] a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3a NLT, second edition). When you come to Jesus with your grief, he knows what you’re talking about, and he understands your pain. God is a suffering God, and he is a sympathetic God. He’s not aloof; he’s not apathetic. He’s not standing on the sidelines.
- God gives you a church family for support. We’re meant to grieve in community. Healing comes in groups. Healing comes in the church. Healing comes in community. We’re better together! “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others …. Be devoted to each other like a loving family …. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:5, 10, 15 NIV/GW/NIV).
- God uses grief to help you grow. God uses grief and even pain to help you become more like Christ, and he does it in three ways. God uses pain to get your attention (Proverbs 20:30). Second, he brings good out of bad (Romans 8:28). Third, he prepares you for eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
- God gives you the hope of Heaven. There are many people who grieve without hope. Your life on this earth is short, but if you believe in Jesus Christ and trust him for your salvation, then you have the hope of spending eternity in Heaven with God, and that hope will sustain you through your time of loss. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “We don’t want you to be ignorant about those who have died. We don’t want you to grieve like other people who have no hope” (GW).
- God uses your pain to help others. This is called redemptive pain; it is the highest and best use of the pain you go through. God does not want you to waste a hurt. “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT, second edition).
Today, Lord, I draw close to You and trust You with the broken pieces of my life. I trust You to bring beauty from my ashes, to exchange my sadness with Your gladness, and my heaviness with Your praise. Thank You for your healing and deliverance. Thank you for freedom in Jesus. I am in AWE of You. Amen.