Monday, October 1, 2012


 Break my heart with what breaks Yours:
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause…

     These words have been my personal prayer for many years. It is what I call a “dangerous prayer”!
     Why dangerous?  Because when God looks upon an open heart tender towards Him and hears these words, there is no telling how He may answer such a prayer. In that sacred moment when we pray it, our hearts may hold the glow of some vision of God’s calling and purpose through our lives – but it is a vision at best hazy and rose-hued until we begin to walk in the reality of God’s response to our prayer.
     For God does not only begin to pierce our hearts with His love for broken lives around us: He also begins to allow our own hearts to experience their own brokenness, in order to mold them into the shape of His vision for us.
     What does this “breaking” entail?
     It may come through many kinds of life experiences. It may even entail being vilified for the very love that we pour out:
     I am reminded of two different instances of women who each broke an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, one pouring it out over Jesus’ head, the other anointing His feet with her offering:
·         In each case the woman concerned poured out the very best she had, out of extravagant love for Jesus.
·         In each story the offering the woman brought involved personal sacrifice.
·         In each instance the woman and her offering were criticized: one by Judas Iscariot; the other by Simon the Pharisee.
·         In each case the critics were contemptuous of the love poured out by these women.
·         Both women’s hearts had been pierced at some point by the love of Jesus, and Jesus was at the center of their attention

     Jesus’ answer to Simon the Pharisee is significant: He pretty much told Simon that he was unable to comprehend love poured out because Simon himself “loved little”. Simon was unable to recognize his own great need for forgiveness, and could therefore only find criticism in his heart for others' expressions of love. He considered himself beyond reproach, and found fault with everyone else - including Jesus. He had not been forgiven much, and therefore was unable to love much either.
     Judas Iscariot, on the other hand, was completely self-absorbed. Jesus was not the center and object of his devotion. He was only interested in what would be of benefit to himself. Being self-focused, he too, could not understand what it is to "love much".
     Has there been a time when you have poured out from the depths of your being the most precious of all you have to offer, from a heart pierced by the extravagant love of Jesus? And in doing so, has your offering been despised and diminished and misunderstood and dismissed?  This can leave us feeling as if all we have given has been worthless and fruitless. The result is a broken heart – and a baptism of pain.
     How we respond to this brokenness, is crucial. On our response hang our destiny and calling. We could become defensive, angry, resentful and bitter, and seal off our seared hearts in self-protection. We will then face a long, hard journey of unresolved pain and thwarted purpose and lost opportunity.
     Or… we could embrace the brokenness, choosing to surrender our aching hearts over and over at the foot of the cross. God is then able to use our lives to become a fragrant offering for the sake His kingdom and precious lives for whom Jesus gave His.
     When we do this, we relinquish the need to have our love gift acknowledged and valued by anyone other than Jesus. Just as in the stories of the women who poured out their costly perfume, we can rest in the assurance that Jesus sees, understands and values our offering of love. The opinions of our critics lose their power. And in that place of rest in Him, we can accept that we may never know until eternity, what fruit our offering bore.
     Very recently, a reading from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest resonated in my own heart. To quote: “… He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never dreamed could be His call on us… This call… has to do with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us… If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed – you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed… To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service” (September 30).
     Whose fingers has God allowed to crush you? They may even have been the fingers of someone whom you trusted with your heart. No matter who or what has been instrumental in squeezing you, allow God to use the experience to produce life-giving wine out of your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you in ever deeper ways, what it is to love selflessly, out of a Christ-centered, cross-embraced life.
     In 2 Timothy 4:6 Paul writes, For I am already being poured out like a drink offering…
     Through the heartache and the tears, my own prayer is, “Yes Lord – for the sake of precious lives for whom you gave Your own, pour me out also like a drink offering - spilled from a heart pierced by Your love.”

No comments:

Post a Comment