When I was younger, I used to love to say that my heart had never been broken. Chad was my first and only boyfriend, and when we married I thought that I had escaped broken-heartedness. I thought that I had somehow cheated the system because I had never experienced unrequited love.
As the years went on and I lived a little more of life, I began to learn that there are plenty of ways that hearts can be broken. The first miscarriage broke my heart. After two more, I felt like a broken heart expert. My oldest child started school, and I watched her soar and then I watched her lose her confidence and struggle to be happy, and it broke my heart. Seeing my mother clinging to life in a hospital bed broke my heart. My own struggles with sin and disobedience have broken my heart.
Chances are you have had your own broken heart experiences. Maybe you lost a child. Maybe you endured a divorce. You may have a son or daughter who is on a bad path. You may be lonely. You may be sad. You may feel hopeless and helpless.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This is more than just a nice “saying” to put in a greeting card. We have a God who understands broken-heartedness. God the Father sent His son into an undeserving world and watched him suffer through life and death. He has watched as His people again and again turn their backs on him.
And, God the son is certainly not immune to the pain of a broken heart. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was probably quite a broken-hearted person here on Earth. Don’t believe it? Do you think he was unaffected by the fact that one of his closest friends actually hated him and was plotting to do him harm? Do you think he just brushed it off when crowds of angry people wanted him dead? Do you think that Jesus was indifferent to the vast amount of pain and suffering that surrounded him when he was teaching, preaching, and healing? Do you believe that Peter’s denial didn’t bother Jesus? Do you imagine that he didn’t care that when he was facing a terrible and frightening death and the weight of humanity’s past, present and future sins on him, his best friends wouldn’t even stay awake and pray for him?
Do you remember when Jesus cried outside the tomb of his friend Lazarus?
Jesus knows what it’s like to feel that very human broken heart limping along inside his chest. He understands. He isn’t a far away God who looks down on our experiences with curiosity. He is a real, living, caring God who prays for us. He is the God who sympathizes. He is the God who heals.
And He’s an expert at healing broken hearts.
When we feel broken, we can cry out to him. We can turn to our King knowing that He has lived the life of a broken-hearted servant. And knowing him can give us the courage to endure.
Jesus, our broken-hearted Savior. He is real. And He is close to those who are broken.