Sunday, January 15, 2012

Close To The Broken Hearted

       God still performs miracles, it’s amazing when it manifests in your life.  When it occurs God captivates your heart with such awe and wonder.  What just happened?  Did you see what God did?
     When we think of “miracles” we often recall the miraculous healings of Christ.  Whether it was the lame, the blind, or the deaf person being healed, we are complete amazed.  All of the sick people who encounter Christ left changed, they were made whole.  Life was completely RESTORE.  There weren’t any side-effects from medications or scars but only proof of a miracle.  What about a healing for broken hearts?  Does God care about a broken-spirit?  Yes, He cares for the broken, He is near them.

Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good new to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
      Can you forgive someone who abused you?  Whether it was physical, emotional or sexual abuse?  It’s only possible through Christ’s help, we can forgive.  The greatest miracle of one’s life who suffered abuse is being able to forgive the person.  Of course, this is the hardest part of healing but it proves life is restored. 
     Christ said, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44) 
  Sometimes our enemies are members of our own family.  It’s not only shocking but the pain can destroy relationship with our spouses, children, and co-workers if it’s not dealt with.  As the pain festers it corrupts our self-esteem, prevents intimacy with others, and peace within.
     Can you image being hunted down like a wild animal?  Of course if you committed a crime we would expect to be hunted by the law.  But what if you are innocent?  How do you explain someone trying to harm you?  Especially if they invited you in their home, gave you a job, and allowed you to marry their eldest daughter.  (I Samuel 16:14-23; 1Samuel 18:18)Who wouldn’t feel loved or honored by this person?  Well, if anyone could relate it would be King David.  Once favored in the King Saul’s site for his music abilities, honored for his military victories, and marriage to Michal, he is wanted dead or alive.  It wasn’t one occasion, it was several accounts.  His father-in-law is chasing him, a member of his own family!  Who would want a father-in-law like Saul? 
     Forget family reunions, Thanksgiving dinner, or barbeque parties with family, a feud broke out.  It wasn’t over who took grandma’s last piece of homemade apple pie, it was serious.  Saul’s jealous, anger, and unwillingness to obey God destroyed his life.  Saul lost the kingdom, love of his family, and respect of others. Yet, David never desired to touch God’s anointed with his words or actions.  When the opportunity came for vengeance David never took it.  When he became king, he could have wiped out the previous dynasty.  Who would have blamed David?  When a new king took the throne, it wasn’t uncommon.  Yet, David desire to bless Saul even after his death. (2 Samuel 9:1-13)
     Recently, I was on the phone with my mother who started sharing an account of a recent church service.  After her pastor taught a powerful lesson, my mother testified to the truth of his lesson: the power of forgiveness.   As she testified how God used my mother and me to lead my father to Christ, it wasn’t anything but a miracle.  All of our lives were destroyed from my father’s addiction to alcohol; the side effects didn’t help either.  Make-up can only cover the bruises but the scars are left permeate.  After the divorce my mother hated my father for the physical abuse she suffered.  She only communicated with my father for my sake but it wasn’t her desire. 
     When I was in college my professor said, “Hurting people will hurt people, they don’t know how else to respond.”  It’s true.  It’s only through the scared hands of Christ, my mother and I was made whole.  After my parents divorced, all parties were broken but I never dreamt that healing would come.  All of the years of praying were not in vain, God heard them.  Maybe God was preparing me for a miracle, a personal one.
      My father is currently battling third stage cancer, so he is making strides in his health.  When I learned the news, I quickly came.  When I flew home, I always stay with my mother.  So, she drove me to my father’s house.  Upon arriving to my dad’s house my heart was completely filled with compassion, my father was frail.  So, I would clean his house, keep him company, and watch television with him.  While visiting my dad I started sharing the Gospel, he was finally receptive to it.  Yet, I was more shocked of his request.  My father said, “If your mother will pray with me, I will accept Christ.”      
     When my mother’s car pulled into the driveway I wasn’t expecting anything.  “It will not hurt to ask,” I said to myself.  What happened next still chokes me up, she came.  She was willing to extend forgiveness to the man whose hands hurt her.  As we held hands together, my mother and I lead my father to Christ.  Instead of hands hurting him, we brought healing to his. 
     Besides my father’s salvation, a miracle occurred within mine-my life was restored completely.  My life wasn’t destroyed by bitterness, hatred, or vengeance.  It wasn’t an overnight experience; it took years for this day to come.  Sometimes we wonder if we are really growing in Christ.  That day proved to me, I had.  What a wonderful realization of God’s grace!  God’s grace is truly amazing, it’s endless.  As I left my father’s house my heart rejoiced with the old hymn, “There is a new name written down in glory.” 
     Miracles don’t just happen for the physical but the broken-hearted.  He longs to bind those wounds with love.  One touch of God’s love restores the deepest scars.  It’s transforming, beautiful, and a miracle.