Unbreak My Heart

Unbreak My Heart

 When you read that title, you hear the words of Toni Braxton’s song.

Don’t leave me in all this pain

Don’t leave me out in the rain

Come back and bring back my smile

Come and take these tears away

Unbreak my heart

Say you love me again

We’ve all had some incidents cut into us like a surgical knife with no anesthesia applied, things that broke something deep inside, and we didn’t think we’d get past it.  In fact, we put up walls so we wouldn’t be hurt again.  When friends came along after the incident was over and rationalized with us to try again, we argued fiercely that we’d never venture out there again.  We vowed to never try again, never believe again.  We were determined to stay in the place of safety and not be made a fool of because being on the “Shame Show” is not fun.

Check out Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died.  They believed in Jesus, that he was the Messiah.  They fully embraced everything he taught.  But then Lazarus died, and grief swooped in like a vulture and laid hold of them. They were in grief not only because their brother had died but also because Jesus didn’t show up in time to hold an intervention.  And to top it off, the whole matter was made worse by the fact that when Jesus heard news that Lazarus was sick, he stayed in the neighboring town where he was and didn’t immediately go see about Lazarus—like they assumed he would do for a close friend.  It was known that Jesus loved spending time with that whole family.  It was after two days that he decided to leave, and when he arrived, Lazarus had been in the grave for FOUR DAYS!

There was grief all over the place.  Grief in the living room, grief in the front yard, grief in the soup.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming—remember, she was the one with all the busy-bee energy, always had to be doing something, the bossy one in charge of everything, maybe had a bit of OCD—she went out to meet him.  How did she meet him?

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”  Oh, my!  ACCUSATION.  What was she really saying?  “Unbreak my heart.  I don’t understand.  A real friend would have come earlier and would have done something.”

When her sister Mary saw Jesus—remember, she was the more spiritual one willing to drop her workload and sit at Jesus’ feet and hear the Word.  The dishes and food could wait until later because she chose what was far more valuable.  Even Mary, a true worshipper and disciple of the Word allowed her grief and tears to overcome her, and she met him with “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”  A true worshipper gave in to grief and emotionalism and spit out ACCUSATION.

Doesn’t that remind you of Adam in the Garden of Eden after he had given in to Eve and had eaten the forbidden fruit and God asked him about it?  (See Genesis 3.)  Adam responded to God by saying “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  So, it wasn’t Adam’s fault; it was God’s.  Again, ACCUSATION!

Why do we react to difficult situations with accusation?  Because we don’t like being the guilty party.  We don’t like being in limbo, and we don’t like shame and failure.  We’re angry when someone or some thing draws a big, black mark across the pretty picture of our lives.  We feel like real happiness will never come.  But when we rely on our own emotions to lead us into a life of happiness and it crumbles, hearts get broken, plans get shattered, futures become uncertain and we become blinded to whether or not there will ever be anything good for us again.  When something gets taken from you, it hurts!  Brokenness hurts.  Unbreak my heart.

Don’t leave me in all this pain.  Don’t leave me out in the rain.  Come back and bring back my smile.  Come and take these tears away.  Unbreak my heart, say you love me again.  But it’s difficult to go to The Fixer and say those things.  Difficult to pray those prayers sometimes, especially when the walls of protection go up.

You have to let the walls down, or at least one brick.  Show Him that you’re willing to hear what He has to say.  Stop believing that He doesn’t care regardless of who’s responsible for the breakage in your life, and when you do, just know that your Father has a way of sneaking up on you, or sidling up to you in a fatherly way.  He understands.

He understands what you’ve done and what someone else did to you.  He understands your pain.  He knows how you feel.  He knows you’re confused.  He knows how your mind works and what’s important to you, but He also knows that if you navigate life based on how you feel, you’ll shipwreck almost every time.  Let Him wrap his arms around you and fill you up in the places where you’re broken.  He will unbreak your heart.

 

Do You Flinch When Spiritual Topics Come Up?

Do you flinch every time a spiritual topic comes up?  Does it feel like someone pulled a stun gun on you when someone mentions the guy whose name starts with the letter J?  Have you allowed yourself to think about why?  Do you consider spiritual things to be private, not concrete, not clearly defined, scary and definitely not fun?  Are you afraid to be educated in spiritual matters, afraid to learn something not talked about in your family, your neighborhood, your culture or even among friends?

People establish values in order to organize their lives and to organize society.  While some value systems can be good to build a life on, they can also build walls and divide.

A value system is a set of beliefs and attitudes that members of a group all share.  They buy into those beliefs (which come with certain attitudes and protection mechanisms), and a cohesive group is formed.  It’s the very definition of ethnocentricity—when members of a group or culture believe that their values and way of living is better or more important than others’.  A comprehensive list of values is too large to list here, but imagine if you were born into a group whose top values were:

GROUP 1 :  accomplishment, higher education, ambition, wealth, status

GROUP 2:  nature, adventure, travel, environmental concerns

GROUP 3:  art, culture, music, entertainment, amusement, celebrity

GROUP 4:  affection, community, family, devotion, friendship, faith

The values of either of these groups become the beacon that leads them, the driving force for all life decisions.  Group 1 enforces their primary values with their young, pushing them to accomplish certain milestones in order to be the next generation who maintain the status quo.  They may admire some values of other groups, but the values of other groups are secondary.  Their primary values are placed on a pedestal above all else.

All groups tend to function in the same way, but I’ve said for years that whatever your strength is can turn out to be your weakness—a strength on one end of the spectrum and a weakness at the opposite end.

This is a simple example of how value systems become set in stone, unshakeable, unmoveable and not open to compromise.  This is also an example of how some value systems build walls and divide one group from another.  What if your future best friend or spouse was in one of those other groups, but rigid boundaries and beliefs restricted you from crossing the line?  But that’s a topic for another time.

So when someone asks you “Are you a Christian?” you may flinch for a number of reasons.  You know instinctively that others nearby are flinching, too, because they looked up to identify the one who asked the question or they changed their location in the room.  They flinched at the openness of someone whose values were different.  They’re now prepared to gather in cliques and decide how to avoid the person who brought up an unorthodox topic.  How dare they not realize that some topics are private and to be discussed in “safe zones” only.

Let’s talk about true Christianity for a moment—not the fake stuff you see in the mainstream media or in social media for that matter.  The values that are found in true Christianity include faith, virtue (morally good behavior), knowledge, temperance (self-control), patience, godliness, kindness and love.  These values can be embraced by any group. [2 Peter 1:3-8]

The truth is that when Christianity is mentioned in some circles today, the waters part, people get ostracized, labels are assigned, promotions go elsewhere, phone calls are not returned, walls get erected, and the fate of companies is placed in the hands of a trusted clique member who can affect hundreds of lives for better or worse.

Be honest with yourself if with no one else.  Why are you flinching when spiritual matters come up?  Have you discovered any meaningful value in Christianity?  Does it have any power?  Does it have the potential to improve your life in any way?  Could it help you with your academic scores, job problems, relationships, or your own personal health?

If you achieved great accomplishments, became wealthy, enjoyed nature, promoted culture, made great music, showed natural affection, raised a family and had wonderful friends, then discovered that you had left the single most important value untouched and unexplored—to your detriment, how would you feel?

Consider it because God loves hard, and there’s a great deal more in store for you!

What Had Happened Was

Picture this.  There’s a really nice guy, a giver.  He likes beautiful things, he’s loving and kind, smiles a lot.  He has an extravagant estate and likes to have company over all the time so he can entertain them and make them happy.  One day, he creates a clay figure and gives him a grand home of his own.  When he creates a living space for the man, he tells him he has authority over everything that happens there.  He shows up every day to see how things are going and to talk about the fun the man had that day in discovering his new environment.

The only warning the man has is to stay true to His relationship with the one who created him.  In doing so, he can maintain his authority and not to bow to another.

One day, the male and his female companion encounter another creature in their home environment who begins to question them about their Creator.  This creature uses an approach they haven’t known before.  Doubt.

Through the avenue of doubt, a door opens allowing him to peddle a different way of looking at things.  He shows them the merchandise he has for sale by appealing to a lust for what the natural eye can see.  Advertising the sweetness of forbidden fruit, he makes their flesh lust for something they’ve never consumed before.  And with an appeal for personal power, he awakens the pride of life.  A scammer and an evil salesperson, this other creature convinces the female that he can give them more than the One who created them.

As soon as they comply, as soon as they allow themselves to be sold a bill of goods, they notice that the glory–the life force that emanated from them–suddenly went out.  They’ve suddenly lost a vital part of the way the creator made them, and added to that, they have forfeited their authority to the evil presence.  Instead of owners, they are now slaves.  In place of freedom, they now obey a lower force.  If they procreate, they cannot produce a human who has that higher life force that they once knew.  They can only produce humans restricted to a lower level of life.

Have you ever heard anyone quote that scripture “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God [Romans 3:23]?  When God made the man, He would come down at the end of the day to talk with the man.  The man would see this bright glory radiating from his Creator.  It wasn’t odd; it was normal.  God made man in His image, so the man and woman had a life force that radiated from them, too.  When the animals were brought before the man, they didn’t have that same presence, but when God made woman and brought her to the man, that’s what he saw and that’s how he knew she was his mate.  It wasn’t because she was 36-24-36 and knock-out gorgeous.  She had the beauty of pure life, light and love emanating from her.

But now there’s a dilemma.  They’ve lost open communication with the one who created them and a new mentality has taken over.  Its’ name is fear, and fear always puts up walls.

However, the Creator is not a quitter and does not stand idly by watching the persons he created and who rightfully belong to him go without rescue.  He loves them, but legalities stand in his way.  The Creator had given charge of the beautiful new homestead to the male and female.  They, in turn, gave their authority and possession over to another.  If the Creator steps in at this point and takes everything back from the scammer, he then becomes a thief himself—trapped into obeying a lesser force.  A force with no integrity, no love and who has the capacity for death.  If he resorts to underhanded methods, he loses his own freedom and all light goes out forever!

This is war!  Expert strategy is demanded here.  Blood will be shed if necessary to win back freedom of choice for the male and female—the right to leave the dark side and return to the light.  How can this be done?

Let’s examine the attributes of the two major players.  The Creator–good, a giver, full of life, peace and truth.  The scammer—a shady thief full of death, turmoil and lies.

Strategy of the Creator:  In order to regain control, the Creator must sacrifice his own self because he is the only being who is completely innocent and without fault.  But he cannot kill himself, or all creation would cease to be.  So, he has to place himself into a position where the scammer takes his life unjustly.  When the life of the innocent one takes place and the evidence is presented in the court of the universe, the scammer is found guilty and must release everything he has gotten by illegal means.  It was a great strategy that was executed and freedom of choice has been returned to all people at great cost.

It is now up to each person to choose life.  Or death.  This is the story of salvation.

God loves hard and there’s nothing you can do about His unchanging love.  Believe the Love!