Many people are convinced that when they are brokenhearted, when they grieve deeply over their losses, that God is displeased. God is sometimes seen as a person who expects us to be happy even in the face of trauma and loss. God is someone who asks us to 'snap out of it' and 'cheer up'. As a result, we anticipate rejection rather than compassion.
How surprising it is to hear that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted! God does not expect cheerfulness. God does not reject us. God is compassionate and responsive. God is close - not far away.
In dysfunctional families difficult emotions often result in withdrawal and isolation. It is this kind of emotional distance that we now expect from God. It is not always easy to trust God to be close to us when we are brokenhearted. And it is not always easy to allow ourselves the vulnerability of such closeness. But God is eager to heal us, to restore us and to save us when our spirits are crushed.
When I was angry, Lord,
I was sent to my room.
"Don't come out until you have a smile on your face!"
When I was sad, Lord
I was told to cheer up.
"Just snap out of it!"
Now I expect to be abandoned, Lord.
I expect to be left alone with my pain.
I expect to be lonely in my brokenness.
When I am broken hearted,
When I am crushed in spirit,
Help me to rest in your promise to be close.
Help me to rest in your promise to save.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery