Monday, November 03, 2008

Breaking Hearts

"The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God's purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says - "Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine." If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart. " - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 1st

When I graduated from College (slightly before the earth cooled), I attended a six week study session in Budapest, Hungary. It was quite an experience, as Hungary had just emerged from the Iron Curtain. Included in the party was a young woman to whom I (ever the romantic at time) feel for. We dated, I visited her home (her parents lived in Munich), and then flew back determined to have one of those long distance relationships that worked (she was in Chicago, I was in Chicago).

During the ensuing 2 months, things took their usual course that being apart and young does - until that one splendid day when she called, asking me to come out for some large gala ball. Of course, I accepted, excited. The Romantic was thrilled beyond belief.

Until I got there. Then, I discovered that much like high school dances, sometimes you go because you asked someone and it is too late to call it off, not because you want to go with them. Thankfully, I got to spend the whole weekend in this wretched state, including a wonderful afternoon walking in the cold biting wind by Lake Michigan, simply because I didn't have anywhere to go.

I panicked -calling, writing, calling - until the day (I remember it clearly) when I got here phone answering service which included, as part of the greeting, a comment for me basically telling me "Bug the heck off!"

I was crushed - so much so, that I actually buried the experience and iced it over, like a hockey pond over a meadow, and never analyzed it fully. Part of me died that day. Certainly, the Romantic was crushed, only to ever rise as a shadow of his former self.

This smacked me across the face this morning as I caught up on my meditations. "Why shouldn't we go through heartbreaks?" asks Chambers. He proposes that through these heartbreaks, "God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son". But in reading this, I realized that we have a choice when these heartbreaks come.

On the one hand, we can choose to bury the pain and react from the flesh, trying to cover over the hurt or make it better - often to the detriment of ourselves. Without a doubt, most of the bad decisions I made in that 2 year period until I met the Ravishing Mrs. TB were attempts to find that Romantic. But the Romantic was largely gone, any actions on his behalf a sort of walking wake.

On the other hand, we can do as Chambers suggests: realize that God is breaking our heart so that we can enter fellowship with Him. He reveals all that is not Him to us so that we can seek the Giver, not the Gift. There was nothing wrong inherently with the Romantic, except his goal: he sought earthly love, while God wanted those feelings of beauty and passion to be exercised first with Him, then with those around the Romantic in service to Him.

God wants us to be about His purposes in the world, not our own agendas. We accept that for goals, but how often do we apply it our entire person? Is my whole person - heart, mind and soul -about how I can conform to His will and Word?

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