If you have read the first three posts, by now you are beginning to wonder, “I have come to faith in Christ and my sin is forgiven. Why does my heart still hurt? Is there something wrong with me?”
Remember that the heart is what makes you who you are—from the Bible’s perspective, the heart is where we think, feel, and desire. The brokenness of sin is one cause of heart pain, and is the cause the Bible speaks of most often. There are many more.
Empathy is one source of heart pain. We feel, sometimes quite strongly, the pain of others. This is especially true when someone we love hurts. When my child suffers disappointment, I feel that pain with her.
The most common source of heart pain is grief—the pain of loss. Usually, we associate grief with the death of a loved one. Certainly, on those occasions, we feel the pain of grief most acutely. But life is a series of losses. Some losses are disappointments that we can manage out of our emotional resources, but others are deep wounds that stop us dead in our tracks.
Much has been made of the so-called stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Recognizing how humans respond to loss is helpful, especially if you are experiencing it yourself. Nothing is wrong with you when your heart hurts from grief.
Does Jesus heal grieving hearts? Yes, in a much different way…
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 ESV)
When your loved one died, or when your job was downsized, it was not because you failed or sinned. Your heart did not break, but it feels the emotional sting of loss. Jesus does not wipe the pain away, but he will bring comfort to your mourning.
Sure, the Lord can wipe away the pain in an instant. Instead he gives something much sweeter—His presence. Just as grief will surprise you when a sharp pain comes, seemingly from nowhere, so the presence of God will surprise you with his grace, peace, and affirmation.
If you are grieving, find some time—both quality and quantity—to be with God. Make sure you have a quiet time to read the Bible, to pray, to journal, and to listen to the gentle whispers of God. And stay involved with the people of God by attending church services, small groups, and service opportunities. God will love you through the church.
Jesus heals hearts!