Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our Weeping God

Indeed, God has a sense of humor or at the very least an exceptionally developed sense of irony!  It was just a few days ago that I was watching an episode of Project Runway with my roommate (Don’t judge me).  I was getting irritated because there were grown men on the show coming undone emotionally and weeping like somebody died over something as small as a dress!  There was one in particular.  I know he couldn’t hear me, but I couldn’t help but talk to the screen and say “Man up!  For God’s sake man, pull yourself together!”

Well, what do you know a few days later I find myself collapsed on the cold tile of the bathroom floor weeping like somebody died!  The next day I thought, “Ok Jesus, well played.  I hear ya.  Judge not lest ye be judged.  I get it now.  Point taken Lord, point taken. Can we move on to the next lesson now?”

Jesus wept.  John 11:35

 It’s the shortest verse in the Bible but it says so much.  Jesus wasn’t weeping because he was having a bad day or feeling particularly emotional that day.  He wept because he looked upon the pain of Martha and Mary as they mourned the loss of their brother and was moved by it.  He could not see their pain and not feel it himself.  He could not look upon their tears without shedding his own.

This is our God, our weeping God.  A God who loves us so much that our pain becomes God’s pain.  A God humble enough to leave the majesty of heaven to come weep with us, in our pain, in our sorrows, in our difficulties, in our broken places.  In the silence of our grief our God can be found holding us, comforting us, simply being present and bearing witness to our pain.

I was not alone on that bathroom floor.  Jesus saw my pain and just couldn’t help himself.  He came down, found some space on that bathroom floor and wept with me.  For this I am grateful.  For this my heart is overflowing with love for this weeping God and my mouth with praise.  For this I cannot help but tell the world I have a found a Love beyond words that never fails, never fades, and never falters.   It is always enough.  This weeping God is enough. 

My heart is fixed on this, that I am never alone and we are never alone.  Our God is never ashamed to weep when we weep and I will never be ashamed of our weeping God.

Following the Way,

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Blessing of a Broken Heart

There's a blessing in having a broken heart.  I know this may sound strange, but I know it to be true in my own life.  In fact, I believe it is true for anyone following the spiritual path.  For believers it is important to remember that Christ did not come to remove our brokenness.  Anyone who thinks that following Jesus means you'll never cry or experience pain or illness or setbacks and difficulty is dead wrong!  For Christ did not come to remove our brokenness but to dwell more fully within it.  We are not blessed or broken; we are blessed and broken.  Christ came to dwell in our brokenness; to make our broken places his dwelling place.  So a broken heart with all of the grief and heaviness that comes with it is an opportunity to sink deeper into Jesus and for Jesus to sink deeper into us.  For this I am grateful.  Sometimes the only thing that can water the soil of our faith is our tears.

This is what I've been experiencing recently.  Facing some heavy disappointment I turned to God in prayer and felt the love and comfort only God can provide.  I said "God I lift my broken heart to You" and immediately felt God's response: God's abiding indwelling presence.  When I look back over my life I can't imagine how I would have survived if not for God carrying me through the hard times.  Over the years I've discovered that a heart that is broken has more room for God to dwell in.  A broken heart can be the catalyst for intimacy and drive us straight into the arms of God where we realize everything we need can be found there.  It reminds us of our need for God and allows us to rediscover the comfort and encouragement only God can bring.  For this I am grateful.

So when you find yourself with a heart that is breaking know that you're in a good place because a heart that can be broken is a heart that can be touched, that can be filled, that can be moved by the suffering of others, by the sound of laughter, by the simple sensation of a gentle passing breeze.  A heart that can be broken is the perfect place for God to dwell.  We are often ashamed of our brokenness, our weakness, our shortcomings.  Not God; for our brokenness is the place where God desires to dwell the most.  From God's perspective it's the best room in the house!  It's the place that God can mend, heal, restore and cause to expand.  You are blessed even in your brokenness so allow God to dwell in your broken places. It will make all the difference.  It has for me time and time again and is so even now.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God".  1 Corinthians 2:3-4

Following the Way,