I remember a time when I was extremely heartbroken. This was a time where the Lord was still refining me, and I was still trying to understand what it was to “guard your heart.” As men we always hear that we are to guard a woman’s heart. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times at this point. But what I didn’t grasp is that guarding your heart goes both ways.
I was just starting a 12-step recovery program for addiction. It was an addiction that re-surfaced after I was out of a relationship. At that time it seemed that everywhere I turned, there were multiple facets of my life that were just going wrong. There were rumors at work about layoffs, I was still an addict, my family was falling apart and I was still healing from a recent break-up.
I remember sharing in one of the group sessions that, compared to my broken heart, addiction recovery seemed very doable. At work, on several occasions, I would walk out the door, drive to the park, stop under a tree and cry. No one saw me. It was hard to explain to someone what was really going on. Life was just too tough, and as much as I knew that my heart was just an organ, that’s where I felt my pain coming from. It ached. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I didn’t want to be heartbroken.
I shared what I felt with a counselor friend of mine. She told me to be honest with God and tell him exactly how I felt. I always thought that you should approach God with humility and reverence, never complaining. It didn’t cross my mind to completely unload my sadness and anger. How beaten, defeated and worthless I felt! I cried out to him … and then I remembered chapter 13 of Psalms:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
“Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
If anyone knew how I felt, David did. He asked God, how long Lord? HOW LONG!!!?!? I’m sure it wasn’t a meek query, but a fiery demand. How LONG will you hide your face, how LONG must I wrestle with my thoughts? Wrestling with thoughts is something I was too familiar with. If anything, I wanted rest from the thoughts. How long, God, will you allow this sorrow to rest in my heart?
With every verse of this chapter, I related to David. Then I read verse 5. It started with the word “but,” a word that meant “in contrast to” or a “shifting” in a new direction. God bless all the “buts” in the bible.
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
David continues on to say that he trusts in the Lord’s unfailing love, and he rejoices in his salvation, and he will continue to sing because the Lord has been good to him. My God has been good to me. It’s just hard to see sometimes when your eyes are full of tears.
David knew pain, sorrow and despair. But in all that, he also knew the comforter was with him, and he never doubted that the Lord would come through.
The Lord came through for me … eventually. It was never when I wanted Him, but He was on time. So I encourage you, wherever you are with your broken heart, whether it’s a family crisis, a death, a relationship, a marriage, talk to God. Lean into Him, be honest and trust. I promise He can handle anything you throw at Him.