You remember the last time you dropped a drinking glass on the ceramic tile in your kitchen. It shattered into a million tiny pieces, some so small that you couldn’t see them—until the next time you walked into the kitchen with bare feet. There is no fixing a shattered glass. Even if it was your favorite, could not glue it back together again. You swept it into a dustpan and threw it in the trash can.
In the last post, we discovered who could do a horrible, hateful, and violent act—anyone. Anyone, that is, with a broken heart. But unlike the shattered glass, Jesus heals broken hearts…
“…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Psalm 61:1 NIV)
What is the human heart, and how did it break? Read the Old Testament and you find that the Hebrew term for heart appears no less than 590 times! It refers to the “you” underneath your skin. Your heart is what makes you human and what makes you uniquely you. A human heart governs the three functions of personality: thought, emotion, and will. In other words, our heart determines what we think, what we feel, and what we desire.
The Bible tells us that God created the first humans, Adam and Eve. Genesis Chapter Three records the origin of sin. When tempted to disobey God, Adam and Eve gave in. Their story has been known as “The Fall” ever since. When Adam and Eve fell, they crashed hard, their hearts were shattered by their sin. Every person born since The Fall has been born with Adam’s broken heart.
Since the heart controls our thinking, feeling, and wanting, we act out of its brokenness. We can’t help it. In fact, except for Jesus, no one since Adam has known what it is like to be born whole. We try so very hard to act right, but never quite succeed, because it is futile to fix behavior without addressing the core issue, the heart.
Our sin is explained—but not excused—by the fact that we are born this way. It explains why a grandfather shoots his daughter and several of his own grandchildren; why a wealthy businessman files an inaccurate tax return; why a spouse is unfaithful to a husband or wife.
It is in our emotions that we experience brokenness most profoundly. So much so, that we equate emotional pain with a broken heart. It is with our emotions that we feel deeply our broken hearts. The most important question of my life and of yours, is where do we go to fix a broken heart?
The tragic irony is that most people with broken hearts misunderstand their relationship to God. Because I am so broken, the thinking goes, I must be rejected by God. In fact, the opposite is true...
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)
If you have a broken heart, you are not rejected by God, you have a reserved place near God. There is a healer—Jesus—for your broken heart.
In the next post we will seek to understand how Jesus heals hearts. In the meantime, you can reach out to Jesus through a simple prayer like this one…
“Jesus, my heart is broken. The more I try to do what is right, the more I end up making things worse. I am truly sorry and need your help. Please, forgive me, and fix my heart.”
David L. DeGarmo (D. Min.) serves Global University as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology. Along with his wife Ruth, he is also a U.S. Missionary. He has extensive experience as an educator, missionary, and pastor.
David writes an additional blog on a variety of topics. Check it out...