March 8, 2019

Finding God’s Healing in the Places We Hide

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Are you pretending or depending?  The truth is we are all broken.  It’s so tempting to mask our brokenness though.  We want to make others think we have it all together, hoping that maybe we can even convince ourselves we do.  So, we hide our brokenness.  That only leads to a life of pretending.  If we want to experience blessing from our brokenness that leads to wholeness, we need to quit pretending and start depending on God.  It’s time to get brutally honest with ourselves and others.  Here’s four steps that have led me from brokenness to wholeness and exposed hidden treasure that brought blessing. 

Step 1: Don’t hide from my brokenness.

To quit pretending and start depending, I need to cry out to God about my brokenness.  I will never feel His nearness if I hide.  Guilt and shame cause me to hide.  I don’t want to be exposed.  I’m afraid.  But, God’s love is greater than our fears.  We never have to doubt His love for us.  The Psalmist assures us that,

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Are you brokenhearted, but trying desperately to cover it up?  Like a dam that is about to burst, your heart cannot contain the pain.  God loves you.  He’s waiting for you to come to Him, to hold you and to comfort you.  When you turn to Him, you’ll discover the treasure of His presence.  In the most troubling and painful times of my life, I sensed the nearness of His presence like I never had before.  Remember what Paul said,

“We have this treasure in jars of clay….” 2 Corinthians 4:7a (NIV) 

We are just a jar of clay.  He is the treasure.  His presence brings comfort. 

Step 2:  Rely on God when I feel like giving up.

It’s in the place of giving up that we find God’s power.  We’ve all been there and, if you haven’t yet, hold on; you will eventually!  When you do, choose to rely on God.  It’s in those times when I’ve come to the end of my rope and feel like I can’t go on any further that I experience the treasure of God’s power.  It’s as if He whispers, “You can’t do it. I never said you could, but I can and always said I would if you will rely on Me and not on your own strength.” Paul says that God does this to show that:

“… this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7b (NIV)

Step 3:  Bring my brokenness to the Healer.

It’s only when we bring him our brokenness that we find healing and purpose in our pain.  When we can’t fix our brokenness, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Healer.  In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, the Apostle Paul adds,

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

What do you fix your eyes on? God is preparing us for eternity when everything broken will be restored!  Jesus said in Revelation 21:5,

“I am making everything new!” 

How awesome is that?  In God’s healing process, we experience the treasure of God’s purpose. Every scar has a story.  When we bring our brokenness to the Healer, He extracts the shame and disgrace we felt and uses our scars to tell His story of grace and restoration!  It’s then we find God’s healing in the places we hide.  I believe that is why when Jesus rose from the dead in a new resurrected body, He kept the scars in His hands, His side and His feet.  Those scars were reminders of how valuable you and I are to God, how much He loves us!  His scars tell the story of God’s glory and grace.  His wounds are our weapon against the enemy who would try to convince us we are defeated in shame and disgrace.  When we bring our brokenness to the Healer, our scars are proof that God heals!  Sometimes, He heals instantly and, other times, it’s a healing process. Either way, we no longer have to hide our scars.  They don’t tell the story of shame but, instead, of forgiveness and grace! 

Step 4:  Risk admitting my brokenness to others.

In this same chapter of Second Corinthians 4, the Apostle Paul writes,

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (Vs. 15)  

It’s my hurts that humble me and get me to the place where I see my need for others.  When I risk admitting my brokenness to others, I discover the treasure of God’s people.  We are created to do life together.  Even God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone.  We need one another.  We need to pray for one another and bear one another’s burdens.  In this way, the Bible says we “fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2)

Have you discovered the value of a community of faith?  The church is a community of people who no longer have to hide our scars.  We celebrate God’s grace, forgiveness and healing.  The Epistle of James tells us to confess our sins to God and our faults to one another and pray for one another that we may be healed (James 5:16). 

If you’re broken, take heart.  Your brokenness can lead to blessedness with hidden treasures you never knew where there if you’ll take the first step.  Isn’t it time to quit pretending and start depending?