Day Three: God Restores the Heartbroken
Welcome to Day 3. It’s one of my favorites because it demonstrates such tenderness from God. In the midst of hurt and loss, it can feel like normalcy will never return. And perhaps it won’t. We would at least like the gaping wounds the loss or destruction has created would heal to a degree we can move forward again. So we end up asking this big question: Can God do it? Can he heal and restore the heartbroken? And is He willing to do it in me?
Let’s see what He has to tell us in the Bible. Again, I will fit the verses into the devotional.
Ruth 1:1-5; 20-21
Psalm 34:18; 147:3
Devotional: God Restores the Heartbroken
My sweet friend has a life story no one would guess and none would envy. Tragedy began early with the death of her brother in a drowning accident. The loss was bitter for her family, but this would only mark the beginning of tragedies to come. After she married, her husband experienced a massive heart attack leaving her alone with three small children. She soon buried her parents. But in the middle of heartache, God graciously introduced her to a gentle soul who, too, had experienced suffering. They married and together raised the children.
My friend has experienced heart-wrenching calamity resembling that of Naomi’s in Scripture.
In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
After the son married, his wife experienced an aneurysm while pregnant. The baby, alone, survived. The son remarried, still in his twenties, but passed away all too soon. If that were not enough, his second wife became ill and died, leaving this grandson an orphan. When the grandson grew up, his car was struck by a drunk driver, instantly killing the young man.
She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
Both realities beg the question: How does one live through such heartbreak without bitterness or psychotic depression? I didn’t know my friend during those years, but I can imagine she responded much like Naomi. The emptiness would be unbearable. Choosing to get up in the morning or stop crying or feel again become legitimate struggles. There are no psychological quick fixes or human solutions for how to push through cavernous wounds loss creates. But we can be certain God is close to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are crushed in spirit, and He heals them.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;a
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
I asked my friend how she got through all the loss and brokenness. She said, “I don’t know exactly. I just know, God was with me every step.” I couldn’t get out the door for her battery of blessings she needed me to know. “I am so blessed!” she said. How could she say such a ludicrous thing after all she had been through? It was as if I had opened a pipe plugging Niagara Falls. “Let me tell you…The Lord has seen me through everything…!” And I sat down to an afternoon of wonder and awe.
I don’t know what you need in your life, but I know God is faithful to His Word.
He can replenish what the locusts have eaten.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you. Joel 2:24-26
He will be with the brokenhearted every step of the way.
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