HEALING FOR A BROKEN SPIRIT
Shattered and scattered
Broken pieces on the floor
Is there any hope?
Have you ever felt that way in your life – broken without any hope? I’m sure most of us have had times of depression and despair, some more than others. Life can sometimes feel overwhelming with all the trials and struggles, and any number of issues can cause it. Often, we forget to take our burdens to God, or we might wonder if it will really do any good. I’m here to tell you that there is healing for a broken spirit with examples from the Bible and my own life. God does hear and answer prayer, though not always in the way we expect.
HANNAH’S BROKEN SPIRIT AND DEEP DESIRE
Remember Hannah, the mother of Samuel, who deeply desired a child but was unable to conceive? Let’s look at a bit of her story found in 1 Samuel 1. You may want to read the whole story on your own.
While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”
“No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.” “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied.
Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.(1 Samuel 1:12-18)
As we continue reading in that chapter, we see that God answered Hannah’s prayer.
After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”(1 Samuel 1:29)
DAVID’S SIN, REPENTANCE AND RESTORATION
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;(Psalm 51:16-17)
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.
The above was penned by David after he was confronted by the prophet, Nathan, about his sin. The whole psalm is a beautiful prayer of David acknowledging his sin and asking God to purify and restore him. If we are in despair, weighed down by our sin, there is hope.
David saw that all his sacrifices and offerings didn’t mean anything to God unless he was truly repentant of his sin. We can go through the motions, but until we experience the brokenness of spirit over our sins, we won’t realize the great gift of forgiveness and restoration.
HEALING OF A BROKEN SPIRIT IN GRIEF
In my own life, I have experienced comfort and healing after losing my firstborn son a little over 3 years ago. Before that, whenever I saw that someone had lost a child, I wondered to myself how anyone could face it. Then it happened to me. God used some of those mothers who lost a child to bring comfort to me. I knew they understood exactly what I was going through.
Even more than the comfort of friends was the comfort I received from God as I spent time in the Psalms, which are full of lament. Every day I read from Psalms, meditated on the passage, then wrote my own haiku and/or prayer. That practice was healing for me. It reminded me that God saw, understood and cared.
The psalm that I was scheduled to read the morning after my son’s death was Psalm 16. God already knew what I would need. Here is my journal page from that day’s reading:
The comfort I received didn’t minimize or take away the grief from my loss, but it reminded me that God would be with me through my pain. Here’s a journal page from a few days later:
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.(Psalm 34:17-18)
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.
This is Day 2 of #write28days with the word, broken, as a prompt.