Tag Archives: heartache

When your heart is breaking

 

ID-100234581Rip! Tear! Snap!  What was that? Oh, it was just my heart, breaking in two! What are you facing, dear reader? For me, it was saying goodbye to my son, daughter-by-choice, and three grandchildren: ages one, three, and five. It’s breaking my heart!

For eight years, my son and his family have lived close by. For seven of those years, he and his wife served beside us in our ministry. Now, they will be 1,200 miles way: yes, close enough to drive to, yes, we’ll see them again, but that’s not the point!  No more grandkid sleep-overs—watching the cousins play together, no more family gatherings for every holiday, (especially Memorial Day and July 4th which had become a family tradition). No more singing together in church as a family, no more just stopping in, no more… It’s done.

I can look at others in our small congregation who are facing HUGE trials which make me feel like a spoiled brat—and I am, or have been, but that doesn’t make the pain go away! I can quote one of my favorite lines from Ever After, where Cinderella’s stepmother says, “Just remember, things can always get worse.” It’s true!  What comfort!  At least, it makes me laugh, albeit a little too hysterically.

I’ve been really thinking a lot about Job lately—now that will put things into the right perspective! He lost everything. Do you realize that HE LOST EVERYTHING?!!!

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:20,21

Now there’s a man with a proper focus!  He never shows a “poor me” attitude, he doesn’t blame God, he doesn’t blame the servants by saying something stupid like, “What were you doing over there near the Sabeans anyway!” He doesn’t bemoan his children’s actions: “I told them to build stronger houses, and what were they all doing together? Didn’t you see this coming?”  He didn’t even blame himself by saying, “I should have…”  He simply accepts it as from the Lord.  Some would call that weak.  I’d call it amazing grace, which we cannot work up. It MUST come from God.  When times are really tough, we can only anchor ourselves in the grace which we receive through our time in prayer and His Word, coming to our God with a yielded heart.

But that’s not all! When Satan smites Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown (2:6), there are no words this time.  I’m not sure if the scraping with pieces of broken clay pots and sitting in ashes were medicinal or acts of contrition—probably a little of both, but we see a man who gets no help from anyone. We often think ill of Job’s wife, but can we even imagine this woman’s overwhelming grief?  We don’t know the time lapse between Satan’s first and second attack, but we do know that the first attack was sudden, all at one time. In a matter of moments, everything is gone.  Was she there when the servants came running in with bad news, one right after another? Where they still digging through the rubble to find the bodies of her children? How long did she have to even try to digest the information before she awoke to find her husband writhing in pain?  And what would you have said?  I can’t condemn her! And once again, Job’s comment stops us short:

…shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

In all this did not Job sin with his lips. (2:10)

Where will you go for comfort? For healing?  What will you try to use to fill up the empty, aching hole in your heart? How are you going to react? Anger feels so good and bitterness tastes sweet when we allow Satan to whisper in our ear!

I have chosen to stay on my Rock, and here is my mantra:

Lord, I will trust You –

When I don’t understand

When my heart is breaking

When I am alone

When I am poor

When my character has been maligned

When I am tired

When I am empty

When I am discouraged

When I am depressed

When I am questioning EVERYTHING

When I am full of doubts

When my dreams are shattered, I will trust YOU!

And I will NOT stop praising and serving You!

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. John 6:68

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Can You Shine in Spite of Heartache?

Is it possible to quantify what causes the greatest heartache?  Probably the first thing that comes to mind is the loss of a loved one in death.  They’re gone from us; and though we have the promise of seeing them again if they were truly blood-washed saints, it hurts not to be able to see them now and hear their voice.

Perhaps a close second is the heartache of rejection.  Whenever we give of ourselves, it is a dangerous occupation!  We serve, we love, we share a piece of our heart, and often the love that we give is returned to us.  Other times, it is not, or it is for a time, but then something happens – a disagreement, or a seed of discord is sown and then it’s gone. We spend countless hours giving of our selves only to be rejected.  It shouldn’t surprise us – isn’t that what our Master did for us?  But it still aches – to be rejected is one of the most difficult things of the ministry; and if you are not careful, your heart will harden and little by little, you will pull away – stop serving, and loving, and sharing.  How sad that is, because some innocent person misses out because of someone else’s selfishness.

And the greatest loss is the closeness that you feel when serving “in Jesus’ name.”  He knows, and that’s all that matters.  Just writing this has been such a help.  We can choose to dwell on the pain others have caused, knowingly or unknowingly, or we can focus on the incredible love of God!  He STILL deserves my best no matter the outcome!

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

There is a battle.  Just the other day I listened to a news clip on FOX news about Christianity dying influence in America.  The young pastor made several excellent points; but the one that really spoke to my heart was that as Christians, we are to be involved in other people’s lives.  It’s great to blog and interact socially on the internet, but there is nothing more effective than touching another life one on one.  A. W. Tozer made the same point in a message that I recently listened to on sermonaudio.com. Jesus was WITH people ALL the time!

And there’s the battle!  Do we need to be with people blinding them with the Gospel light?  No, this LITTLE light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine.  It’s a word in season: weaving our conversations with the Word.

Acts 4:20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” – This literally means they were “bubbling over” – like a boiling pot!  Oh to have that kind of walk with our Lord, that we couldn’t HELP but speak of Him and His mighty acts!  THAT would make a difference in America!