A few weeks ago I returned from a trip to serve the poor in the garbage dump of Mexico City. The trip was an amazing experience, full of grace and God’s Divine Providence and love. But since my return home, I have felt such an acute sense of brokenness in my heart. This can be chalked up to a plethora of reasons, but all I know for sure is that I have never experienced a time when I have been so aware of the fact that my heart is broken into a million little pieces, and I actually can’t even begin to put it back together on my own.
Right about now, some of you are probably thinking, “Again with the dramatics Herbeck, come on!” But have you had experiences or seasons of life where you feel like a total mystery to yourself? Where you feel like hope is hard to grasp? Where you feel like the only question you can ask is why? Everyone has seasons, everyone has intense battles, and everyone has a broken heart at some point in time. What I am coming to experience very powerfully, and hope to communicate even a little of to you, is that Christ allows us to experience our brokenness so that He can draw us deeper into His heart, so that we will surrender to His love fully and completely.
Even just in this past week, I have realized how much God is a part of my plan instead of me being a part of His. So much of my life is me boxing the Lord into my rigid plan of life and then claiming that He really is Lord of my life, while I still sit on the throne. There are things that I want in life that I cannot let go of, that I grip onto and don’t let the Lord touch in me. This leaves whole parts of my heart that are totally cut off from God, certain areas of life that I haven’t let Him penetrate with His love. And Jesus, in His great mercy, is allowing me to experience and feel the depths of that brokenness so that I will surrender completely to Him. I’m beginning to learn that every experience of things that are broken in us and in the world is an expression of a deep longing for God. Jesus is letting the hardened parts of my heart be completely shattered so that I see that only He is capable of putting me back together, only He is capable of healing me, only He is capable of making me whole. He is breaking my heart so that I may cry out to Him in my need. He is breaking my heart so I can see that He is everything, that my heart is so broken because I have given it to everything that isn’t Him.
So why am I sharing this with you? Because whatever season you are in, there is a purpose. In all of it, there is a purpose, a deep purpose that the Lord brings forth. Everything that you ever experience is for the purpose of your own salvation. Every experience has the opportunity to be embraced more and more by the love of Christ. What a consolation! What a beautiful hope in the midst of what may seem like deep pain. Wherever you may be in your journey, wherever your heart is at – whether it is soaring on a mountain top experience or in a hard place – God is there. He is working in that, deeply and intimately for the singular purpose of loving you more.
In conclusion, I will leave you with this quote from Fulton Sheen:
“Broken things are precious. We eat broken bread because we share in the death of our Lord and his broken life. Broken flowers give perfume. Broken incense is used in Adoration. A broken ship saved Paul some hearts is to break them.”
Check out this song for inspiration: