The fountain of your pleasure is found in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you. You will not despise my tenderness as I bow down humbly at your feet. Psalm 51:17 TPT
For a long time I just did not get the truth hidden in the power of weakness.
It was mostly my dad who raised me you see, and he did not esteem crybabies.
When my tears would flow as a little girl, he would either look away, or leave the room.
Believe me, I got the message.
Tears equal weakness and weakness equals rejection.
Power vs. Influence
No wonder bible verses like, “…my power is perfected in weakness” used to throw me a curve ball when I first returned to the Church.
Oh, I had, had many experiences with a broken heart by then, but esteem them highly?
I would look at myself and my brokenness, and think, “Useless! Get it together girl!”
And, the big “influencers” in my life would echo that message to me.
(No wonder God needed me to unlearn so much junk!)
He whispered to my heart early on, “You’re not after influence. What you want is My power. And My power is not found where you’ve been looking.”
(I’m paraphrasing a bit but that was the gist alright.)
But I couldn’t help wondering, “Can God use a broken heart?”
Go to the mattresses!
Your remember that famous line from the movie The Godfather? “Go to the mattresses.”
Well, I finally figured out that, that’s exactly what I had to do with my depression–namely, “Go to the mattresses.”
Someone also explained to me, that I was taking all my anger and hurt, and turning it inward on myself and that manifests in depression.
Remember, my childhood messages were, “Don’t let it show.”
Yeah, right. Like, depression doesn’t show?
Job, Jeremiah, and Me
These guys were my heroes.
Mostly, because I figured after reading their words, that they got me.
I didn’t have to explain anything to these two.
Job said, “My heart is broken. Depression haunts my days.” (30:16)
And Jeremiah, nicknamed The Weeping Prophet, said in his book Lamentations,
“He has filled me with bitterness and given me a cup of deepest sorrows to drink. He has made me eat gravel and broken my teeth; he has rolled me in ashes and dirt. O Lord, all peace and all prosperity have long since gone, for you have taken them away. I have forgotten what enjoyment is. All hope is gone; my strength has turned to water, for the Lord has left me. Oh, remember the bitterness and suffering you have dealt to me! For I can never forget these awful years; always my soul will live in utter shame.” (3:15-20)
Yeah, this guy knew all about depression and how much it sucks!
Seeing brokenness through Jesus’ eyes
I knew I needed to overcome my depression. But, how?
(You don’t see so good at the bottom of a dark well.)
I knew holding everything inside wasn’t working, but how do you escape all the awful junk from your past? I mean, it happened. No escaping the influence of that.
That’s where real POWER comes in.
That’s where Jesus said, “You can’t erase all the memories, but you and I can overcome them. Go to the mattresses with praise, and you will find my power perfected, in your weakness.”
New eyes–Fresh vision
Maybe some of you out there need new eyes (like I did,) to “see” you’re weakness and brokenness from a new perspective.
Things in God’s kingdom don’t work like things do in the world.
In weakness His power overcomes.
- HUMILITY – When you acknowledge your own weakness you open the door for Him to work in your present circumstance.
- OBEDIENCE – Praise is not based on your feelings; it’s a sacrifice you bring in obedience to Him
- PRAISE – Praise is powerful! As you lift your praise (even weak praise; even through tears) His power is released and darkness is vanquished!
The Power of a Tender Heart
Pain can harden a heart or tenderize it.
The choice is always ours.
Jesus doesn’t make us do life His way.
No, you can become as tough, and as hard, and as angry as you like.
The Bible says, “Wide is the path to destruction and many there are who find it.”
You won’t have to travel far to see the destructive truth of those words in vivid living color.
But, Jesus showed us a better way
Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
7-9 He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.
10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
11-12 Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep. (Isaiah 53 The Message)
His life showed us the source of true power–the tender heart.