Broken hearts can be mended. In fact, they can be made stronger in the broken places. Broken-heartedness is actually seen, at times, in a positive light in the scriptures.
Psalm 51:7 says that the sacrifices of God are a broken heart along with a broken and contrite spirit.
There are many good reasons for having a broken heart. Show me your broken heart and I can tell what drives you and impassions you.
It is only normal to have a broken heart for injustice in the world, for poverty of soul and life, and for suffering that we can prevent or alleviate. That kind of brokenness energizes us.
It is also normal to be broken within over the pain that we cause others and God through our own negative choices. That sort of brokenness leads to and predicts the possibility for change in our lives. Without it, we lost some of our own humanity and pliability.
What we cannot afford is loss of heart.
II Corinthians 4;1 says that we do not lose heart even when our outer man is perishing. Hebrews 12:3 reminds us not to lose heart when we face opposition and Hebrews 12:5 makes the same demand on us when we face correction by God.
So, the things that most commonly cause us discouragement are ...
- our own human frailty and limitations as expressed especially in aging,
- opposition from people,
- and God's correction in our lives.
Returning to II Corinthians 4:1, Paul gives us one rationale for maintaining heart - our ministry. Because we have purpose and calling in our lives, we keep on keeping on. The broken heart of calling becomes the heart that beats on when we might too easily become disheartened.
Furthermore, Hebrews expands on that rationale with two admonitions: that we remember the example of Jesus and that we remember the love of God.
Losing heart is simply not an option - even when we know that the heart that can be warmed by a loving embrace can be broken by pain. No walls are allowed here. All protective devices are disabled.
We must be vulnerable and valiant and that is the path of joyful calling.
Keep on keeping on!