It’s not that other days with a broken heart aren’t painful. It’s just that on Valentine’s Day everywhere you look, go or listen pink shiny hearts and candy pour like salt on your wounds.
I’ve waded my way through the gushing pink day with my own busted up heart many times. This year I do it again. If Valentine’s day feels like a mockery of your broken heart and a deceitful allure to try and find love in cheap thrills I offer these three rescuers:
1) The Lord whose heart was pierced right through is with you and me.
I don’t know what broke your heart. Maybe it’s the death of someone you love. Maybe it’s the betrayal of a dear friend. Maybe it’s a prodigal child. Maybe it’s a divorce or a breakup. Maybe it’s a daily hard keeping of your covenant. Maybe it’s the rejection you’ve endured time and time again. Whatever pierced you through and is causing your physical body to hurt and reel from the wrongness of what has happened or is happening, Christ has felt it in his body too.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions;he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,and with his wounds we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:5
Blessed are those who turn to our wounded Savior for healing. For us, he is enough. We don’t look for healing in chocolates, or wine, or romantic cards, or a dozen perfect thorn-less roses. Jesus is enough for us. We hurt, but we know our hurt is not the end of the story. His brokenness has redeemed ours. Every weapon formed against us will fail. Every trap laid, every betrayal, every rejection will only be for our formation into the likeness of the One who saves us.
“no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” -Isaiah 54:17
2) Only the Heart-Maker can be your heart-healer
The only one able to heal our broken hearts is the one whose heart was pierced for our transgressions. Our hearts may break because death has inflicted a crushing wound or because betrayal has stabbed and turned in the place where we loved, but Christ’s death and his sin-bearing body swallowed the power of sin and death. Only Christ, the Word made flesh, the Image of the Invisible God, only he can heal what was meant for destruction. Only he has the power to bind up our wounded hearts and bring real healing.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” – Isaiah 61:1
Blessed are those who believe that Christ was not only wounded for our transgressions and has the power and the mission to bind up our broken hearts, but he is also the one who miraculously designed our brokenness that he might bring about our healing and the spreading of his glory in our lives. He breaks us and heals us to cause us to know him for who he really is- the One who lays down his life for us. There is a cycle of death and resurrection that spreads life in every way he works with his children. This is his design. This is his way.
Come, let us return to the Lord;for he has torn us, that he may heal us;he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.After two days he will revive us;on the third day he will raise us up,that we may live before him.Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;his going out is sure as the dawn;he will come to us as the showers,as the spring rains that water the earth.” – Hosea 6:1-3
3) Your broken heart poured out in love of Jesus is like priceless perfume spreading his aroma everywhere!
Your broken heart is not a waste! The pain you bear is not for nothing. Christ has borne our sin in his own body! He has made us one with him. He has joined us to God in peace and unbreakable covenant. When we pour out our bleeding heart on him and see our aching lives as his, for his use, for his purposes, for his glory, for an eternal harvest, our cracked up stories become a broken bottle of priceless perfume spreading the aroma of the worth of Christ to everyone in our lives. Not everyone will smell him as beautiful, but those who do will be drawn into knowing him too. As Ann Voskamp says, what some mistake for destruction is really growth. Our lives become a seed, planted and falling apart in this earth to spring up life-giving life. And Christ says that is a beautiful thing!
“And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” – Mark 14:3-6
Blessed are the ones who see their lives in light of God’s great story. Blessed are those who don’t say, “YOLO!” you only live once, and suck as much life for themselves out of this broken place as they can, but rather they say, “YOLF!” you only live forever, and let their redeemed lives be planted in this world that others might live and know the worth of the One who has loved us to death!
Dear Beloved Brokenheart, you walk the path of ever lasting life. You walk hand in hand with the author of such a life. Let every expression of love you see today be a reminder to you that your life is not your own, you are Christ’s, and He is yours, and because of him all your pain is for the spreading of the priceless aroma of the God who so loved the world that he gave his only Son.