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My prayer time this morning has been filled with tears, many tears. I am broken FOR several situations. I'm not broken by them. I am praying for people going through enormous pain right now. I want to stand BY those going through difficulty until their morning, their joy, returns.
In the middle of brokenness, it's hard to think about joy. In fact, believers will find it very challenging to see joy if they are the reason for the brokenness. Others find it challenging to accept joy because it feels like giving in to God who did not answer their prayers.
God's perfect timing allowed me to hear a beautiful and honest message yesterday about what the church should be to each other (Heb. 10:19-25). Church may mean a lot of different things to each of us. But, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ at the very least it should mean you have a church family. Living abroad we learned how hard it can be to have a church family with a lot of different people, especially when they speak different languages. Church is meant to be a family. A body of believers knit together as one body with all the parts working independently. When one part hurts or is broken, others need to come along and stand by them until they can stand on their own in Christ again.
Here are a few principles to remember when you are Broken FOR and Standing BY until joy comes again!
1. Isolation is a breeding ground for all kinds of evil. We cannot leave a family member or church family member isolated. If we do, it's like handing them over to evil. Be there physically, through phone calls, text, emails, or a combination of things. Just be there! Our presence may be all that stirs them to better things. We may be the reminder they need that they are not alone!
2. Hurt people hurt people! Be willing to take a few hits from that one going through brokenness and know it's the pain talking. You may be their safe place where they can speak whatever is on their heart. Just be Jesus for them at those moments. Don't wear your feelings on your sleeve. Develop some thick skin. You're taking those hits for the team - Christ's family.
3. Take things one day at a time. Brokenness may be healed by Christ in a moment, but it will take time to put the consequences that got us there to rest. Be patient. Allow each morning to come with more of Jesus in you so you can pour more of Jesus into the broken one(s).
4. You can't fix things, no matter how much you want to. One of my friends has lost an adult child. I can do nothing to fix things for her. I can't heal her pain. I can't answer her questions. But, I can and do pray for her. I seek the Lord everyday for His word to pray over her life. And, I cry through it. Can't imagine her tears if mine come so freely.
5. Practice TRUTH and GRACE. But do both as God leads. Without his direction it may seem like correction and insincerity. Know truth and share it as God leads. His timing is perfect. Practice grace but do it with your whole heart.
Are you broken for someone today? How are you standing by until the joy comes?