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Over my 60+ years I have endured a broken heart many times. Childhood friends who moved away, boyfriends who said they like another girl more, even one dear friend who died in 8th grade. Those experiences paled in comparison to the brokenness of my heart as my beloved husband's eyes closed for the last time. Experts in the mental health profession suggest there are 5 stages of grieving: denial & isolation; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance. They say these "stages" occur in response to loss whether by death or a breakup of a relationship, & don't have to occur in any particular order. I suggest that for Christians, this theory should not be true. Our relationship with Christ, our fellowship with other believers, the faith & strength we have in Christ, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) should trump the world's expectations in times of loss & heartbreak. The first time I read in 2 Samuel 12, the story of David's son, a child conceived in sin through David's lust for Uriah's wife, Bathsheba, I was impressed by David's wisdom. After receiving the Word of the LORD from the prophet Nathan that said that his child would die, David fasted & prayed "all night on the ground" for 7 days as he pleaded with GOD. (vs.18) Of course, we don't always have warning of impending loss as David did, as we did. But we all have family & friends, those who are dear to us, & we should always be praying for them. If they are not born-again, we pray for their salvation, we pray that the LORD will touch their heart with His Word & bring a witness into their life. For some we pray for continued good health & for others we pray for healing & comfort. We shouldn't wait until the loss hits us between the eyes to fall on our faces before the LORD & pray for those we love, those whose absence from our lives will hurt the most. While my husband lived, from the day of his diagnosis, we prayed together for healing. As the days turned into weeks, months & years, we never ceased praying. I prayed for him often while he slept, even in our kayaks as I watched him fish. I prayed for him all the time. I pleaded with GOD to uphold his life, & I believe that GOD was generous with His mercy & grace. We were given more time than many others are given. We enjoyed many months of "remission" & enjoyed many happy days, filled with lovely memories for me to enjoy now. When David was finally told that the child had died, his servants were shocked by David's actions. "So David arose from the ground, washed & anointed himself, & changed his clothes; & he went into the house of the LORD & worshipped." Then he went home to eat. (vs. 20) His servants said to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted & wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose & ate food." (vs. 21) David replied, "While the child was alive, I fasted & wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (vs. 22-23) For ourselves & those we love, we don't know how many days the "vapor" of life will remain. James said, "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow, For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time & then vanishes away." (James 4:14) Paul wrote in 1 Thess. 4:13-14, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (in death), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died & rose again, even so GOD will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus." So, Christian, pray for those you love. Pray for every area of their life. And when the day comes that you must part from them for a little while, know that we don't have to mourn as "others who have no hope." What may seem a broken heart is an opportunity to stand on His Word.
To me a better way to describe a broken heart is that your heart is not broken but rather has a hole in it. Something or someone has been removed from it. To recover, that hole needs to be filled in. The Good News is that Jesus is waiting to fill that hole. Spending time with Him (through prayer, reading His Word or just doing gods deeds for others are great ways) is the best solution. You will also find that many times when you do so, not only will He always be with you but He May even create more room for others as well. “Behold, I stand and the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.”
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