“At the cross you beckon me. You draw me closely to my knees, and I am lost for words, so lost in love, and I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered.” – “Sweetly Broken” – Jeremy Riddle
And this is the state of my heart today. I am broken. But not a pitiful broken, but rather a brokenness that brings me joyfully to the foot of the cross where I can see love – perhaps for the first time in my life. Have you ever had that experience as a Christian, where you feel like you have been born again, again? Well, that is what the Lord is doing in my heart and words cannot even begin to describe it. This does not have anything to do with Susana and what we are going through as a result. This has to do with God doing some intense work in my heart to make me more like Him.
You see, there are parts of my own heart that are more cancerous than the tumors that currently invade Susana’s body. There has been sin there for the longest time that has never been truly dealt with, perhaps because it wasn’t God’s time, but I think more because I was not ready to deal with it myself. I had not been brought to the place of brokenness that is needed to see what I now see. But recently, the Lord has indeed brought me to that place. And He has broken me and continues to break me. It is like a blindfold has been lifted off my eyes and I can see things (some really ugly things) in my heart that I have never before seen.
As issues in my life have caused some of these ugly sinful patterns to come to the surface more and more, I was brought to a place where I just began crying out to the Lord and asking Him to break me open, asking Him to open up my eyes so that I can see the sin and ugliness that is keeping my heart from being wholly surrendered to Him, asking Him to reveal and expose those things that are causing ill effect in my marriage and other aspects of my life, primarily my relationship with Him. And it all started with a heart’s cry of desperation, realizing that only the Lord can effect change in my heart for His glory. And so, I cried out, “Lord, break me. Let me see my sin that has robbed You of Your glory, and then let me see Your glory so that I will truly repent and turn my heart to You in ALL ways. I am desperate!”
And The Lord, who hears the cry of His children, heard the heart’s cry of this poor child, and answered Him. Through His word and through my prayers, and by His grace, He broke my hardened heart wide open. And I wept, not like a baby, for a baby cries without really knowing why he or she is crying. No, I wept like a grown man, a man who hungers after God yet for the first time has seen such sin in his heart that has kept him from the very God he hungers after. Oh, I cannot express the grief that my heart experienced, and continues to experience. I have had times of falling to the floor, overcome with grief (yet at the same time overcome with the knowledge of His love and mercy) and just heaving sobs and wails and groans like I have never known before. I weep now even as I write this. He has answered my prayer! He has broken me, and continues to break me.
This, although painful, has been the sweetest thing to happen to me. The death is always painful. The letting go of something is always painful. The reality of sin and depravity is always painful. But the reality of Christ’s love that reaches such a depraved heart and has both power to forgive sin and love to restore a heart is indescribable! The bible is altogether true as it states, “It is the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance.” Oh how I thank the Lord that He has granted me the gift of repentance. He has caused me to truly turn away from my sin. I cannot explain it all, but He has done it.
So, I have had many many days as of late where I just weep as I realize how my sin and wretched heart has kept me from receiving so much more of Him. And I also weep with the greatest thankfulness that He both loves me and is setting me free. I cannot contain my excitement. I just have to share it. It is like those blind people that Jesus healed that went in the temple walking, and leaping, and praising God. For I have been one of those blind men that has received the miracle of sight. What can I do, but walk and leap and praise the One, the ONLY One, who is able to open the eyes of the blind and bring a dead heart back to life.
Some may think that I am sharing too much by talking about God exposing sin in my life and breaking me of years of spiritual blindness…I don’t care. Just like David said when he danced naked after the ark was returned to Jerusalem, “I will be even more undignified than this!” So, I will not go dancing down the street naked, but I will show the nakedness of my soul that has been touched by my Savior, for I have nothing to hide. He has redeemed me and is setting me free. I cannot stay silent.
I have been consumed these days by thoughts of Him. I cannot put the bible down. I cannot stop writing in my journal. I cannot stop just wanting to give Him glory and honor in everything that I do. I have lived 38 years of my life so far. I only pray that He gives me at least 39 more years so that I can live more than half of my life with this new found love and joy that I have found in my Savior. I have lived 8 years of marriage where I have been unable to give my whole heart to a woman that I really love. I only pray that these 8 years are a tiny fraction of the years of marriage left where I can give my wife my entire heart and see the Lord glorified in our midst every single day.
As I was thinking about these things the other day, I said, “Lord, You have indeed answered my prayer asking You to break me open and reveal my sin so that I would see it clearly. But now I want You to answer my prayer of showing me Your glory.” And as soon as I said this, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “I have shown You my glory by exposing the depravity of your heart and then covering it with my love.” Oh, how my heart shouted for joy when I saw this to be true. What can be more glorious than a heart that has been revealed to be full of such sin and yet the love of Christ that covers the sin of such a wicked heart? Yes, mine eyes have seen the glory of the Lord.