By: Kristen L. McNulty
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Even with all of the medical advances that have been made, broken bones are still a fairly common thing and they are treated in the same way that they have been for years and years. Break an arm? Cast for about six weeks and then in some cases a bit of physical therapy and you're fine. Break a toe? Ice it, elevate it, and keep your weight off of it until it starts to improve. Broken bones are routine. They are understood. And they are completely treatable.
Broken hearts and spirits on the other hand are completely different things. Maybe it's because we can't visibly see these things, but they are treated very differently than a physical brokenness is. When some breaks a foot, they are very much aware of the pain. They take measures to heal, whether that's a cast or therapy or both. The people around them gather to make their lives a little easier until they have their mobility back. And the person with the break is careful when moving as to not worsen the injury.
But when someone has a broken heart or spirit, the reaction couldn't be more opposite. Even though inside they are in tremendous pain, on the outside often no one can tell the difference. The pain of a broken heart or spirit gets buried deep and often remains because it goes untreated. Instead of being rallied around, often those with emotional breaks find themselves isolated and alone. And going to someone to help heal the hurt is often the last thing on their mind.
As a result there are a lot of people walking through life with fractures that have never healed. The gap of a missing parent. The loss of a dear friend. The overwhelming absence of joy. The empty void of loneliness. We have an army of people walking through life wounded.
For the Christian this is a confusing struggle, because didn't Jesus come to heal the broken-hearted? Didn't He come to restore life to those who are walking in a comatose state? If you believe what is written in the Bible, He did. But often we skip over a vital part of the process. We come to God with our pain and dump it at His feet and while there is no better place to go with our wounds, we forget our part in the process.
Throughout the Bible often before God acted He required action on the behalf of those who were afflicted. A small step of faith if you may. The Israelites had to walk around Jericho seven times before the walls fell. The woman with the hemorrhage had to reach out and touch the robe of Jesus. Peter had to step out of the boat and onto the water. The disciples had to find 5 loaves and two fishes to give to Jesus. I could go on.
God is a marvellous healer of broken hearts, broken spirits, broken homes, and broken relationships, but while He works where only He can on the inside, we can't sit idle. We have a part to play.
For some that means going to a counsellor to work through the layers of hurt. For others that means asking forgiveness. For others it means handing forgiveness out. It's exactly like a broken bone. The doctor may cast it so that it is aligned to heal, but the person with the break still has to give it an atmosphere for healing. A cast on your leg doesn't mean you can go for a swim, play sports, and go about your daily life. It sets the stage for the bone to heal, but it's up to you to protect the injury and follow the instructions of the physician. In the same way, we as Christians may have the ultimate physician working on and in us, but we still have to give Him an atmosphere for healing.
And it does take time. For every break it is different, but we do have the promise that when we follow Christ and let His love into our lives, it will heal. The deepest pain, the darkest wound, heals with the power of the one who created our souls and knows us better that we know ourselves. The question is, are we willing to acknowledge the pain, go to the source of healing and do our part to put the pieces back together? It sounds like an overwhelming task, but with the love and strength of Christ, it's not only do-able, it's more than possible.
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.