Healing for a Broken Heart

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Did you know there is a medical condition called broken heart syndrome? It’s called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy. The condition occurs when the heart muscle is weakened from emotional stress such as losing a loved one, a break-up, or continual anxiety.

If you have suffered from a broken heart, you know how stressful it can be. You can also identify with the term that so aptly captures the feeling. It’s like your life has been taken from you, as if your heart has been ripped from your chest.

Heartbreak is overwhelming distress that results from severe disappointment or an unexpected tragedy. Loss is often involved; death of a beloved family member or friend, health crisis, unanticipated unemployment, or destruction of home and property. Sometimes the root cause is betrayal by a close friend or a failed love relationship. In all situations, the heart is deeply involved and considerable time, resources, and effort has been invested.

However, it should be pointed out that a broken heart is not always bad. Such is the case when we agonize over sin that leads to sorrow for wrongdoing, and then confess, and repent before the Lord.

A broken heart also has positive consequences when we grieve over the wickedness and wrongs of society and are motivated to bring about change. So many of the causes you and I are asked to support were started by someone whose heart was broken by the plight of the poor, abused, downtrodden, sick, helpless, and those who have suffered tragedies.

In Psalm 69:20, the Psalmist writes, “Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” He felt helpless and that no one cared, nobody offered comfort. His sentiments express the loneliness that accompanies heartbreak.

But we are not left without a remedy for a broken heart. Our focus text puts it this way, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Although a broken heart may seem irreparable, God heals the condition. It doesn’t happen instantly but in time you will be restored.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. One benefit of growing old is having experienced the faithfulness of God to His promises. I’ve been blessed to have lived long enough to “Taste and see that the LORD is good…” (Psalm 34:18) One day you awaken and realize that all your troubles are in the rearview mirror. “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…” (v19) God is faithful. Take it from this veteran of spiritual wars.

God heals the brokenhearted. Nothing you are going through right now will last forever.

But what about those people and things we lose in life that are irreplaceable?

I recall coming home from school and telling my grandmother I was hungry. Since dinner wasn’t ready, she offered me something to “tide me over.” It was always just enough to get me through to the evening feast. God understands how deeply you loved the one you lost. He knows no substitution will do. In those times, He gives you what you need to “tide you over” until you gain the ultimate healing, that place where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…” (Rev 21:4)

Whatever He gives will be more than enough to meet your needs, bless you, and keep you — until that glorious day when you enter into His eternal presence.

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September)

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