Heal the Wounds

Isaiah 61: 1             Passion Translation

The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me because Yahweh has anointed me, . . . He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted.

I have been thinking on this verse for some time now and I am not sure that we fully embrace its meaning or significance for our own personal experience. So, today, let’s think about the brokenhearted. Who are they? What does this verse imply or express for them?

First, who are the brokenhearted? Well, at some level it is each of us, right? Raise your hand if you have never had a hurt heart. Everyone has suffered heartbreak. It’s part of life but so is healing and that is where I want to focus today. Before we look at healing, let’s think about how one suffers heartbreak.

We often think of a romantic breakup, maybe even a divorce. If that doesn’t hurt your heart, then you need heart surgery to replace that stone heart with a human one. Of course, it hurts. You would be a lesser being if it didn’t. What about the death of a loved one? That’s heartbreaking. What else? Each of has lived through times that threatened to splinter our hearts beyond repair. For me, one of the hardest was the second knee injury which effectively closed the door on my collegiate sports. We each can point to many times when our hearts took a very hard knock. In some cases, the injury was so acute that we failed to heal. Some were battered and bruised; others shattered. Some healed, others continue to suffer the brokenness. However, there is hope and there is help and you know help’s name.

The Passion Translation calls this chapter, “Messiah’s Mission.” One of the anointings which is upon Jesus is for healing. Yahweh anointed Jesus to heal the wounds of our broken hearts. Many of you can attest to how Jesus lifted you in your darkest moments. You can tell of how Jesus touched your broken heart and made you whole again. Unfortunately, there are even more people for whom this story is incomplete. They have yet to experience the fullness, the completeness of Jesus’ healing. Perhaps, though, each of us has at least a small injury which is still unhealed, one that would benefit from the master’s touch.

The reason some of you are enjoying healing and others are plagued by lingering damage is your ability to open that injured heart to Jesus’ ministrations. Some of us are too busy to spend time letting Jesus touch our hearts. Some of us are just too lazy. Both are ridiculous excuses, but they work. We don’t slow down long enough or spend enough quiet time with Jesus to ever let him touch our hearts. We only slow down long enough to talk; not long enough, to hear. Some won’t even read to the end of this devotion to hear what the Lord would say to them when he is desperate to touch them and relieve their suffering.

The other major impediment to healing is fear. One of the reasons people don’t slow down and listen to the voice of our Lord is because they are afraid of what he will say, afraid of what he will see within us, and deathly afraid of seeing it for ourselves. We can be afraid of the healing too. That gets played out in the world all the time. People are sick but afraid to go to the doctor for a diagnosis. It’s crazy but it’s real, and it’s powerful. Some people are so afraid that the healing, whether by medical science or by Jesus, is going to be painful that they choose to live with the pain of the injury. That also is ludicrous, but we are pain avoidance organisms. Even though we have the ability to think and reason, many times base emotions overrule rationality.

I wish I could touch you and heal your emotions. I wish, with a word, I could evaporate the scars from your broken heartedness, but each of us must make that individual decision to be healed. Those who do not allow themselves to heal end up inflicting their pain on others and then it becomes a vicious cycle. Let me be the one who tells you the truth about the pain of healing. Yes, it hurts. HOWEVER, it is so very brief and miniscule in comparison to the pain brought about by the lack of healing. Yes, I remember facing down the fear in my own life, but the pain of healing is so small and temporary that I have learned to face it much more bravely. It is an instant whereas people live their entire lives with a broken heart. They live a superficial, meaningless existence because they are too afraid to go deep. It is a horrible existence when they could have freedom. They could be healed and enjoy the joy of Jesus’ Spirit. Worst of all, their misery is contagious. They spread it to their family and friends. There is no relief for them because they don’t truly know the healer. They may be Christians, but they don’t “know” Jesus. Jesus has been anointed to heal our hearts. Yahweh sent him into the earth to remedy the brokenness. If we want to live as realized Christians, we must allow him into every part of our lives, even those dark corners where we have clustered every hurt and disappointment.

Who do you know who needs a touch from Jesus? Who do you know who has, at one time or another, had their heart broken? Will you send them this word of encouragement today? Beloved, Jesus came to heal us. He is real and his love is real. He can touch a heart and make it whole. He put himself on a cross so that we would not have to live slaves to our hurts. Won’t you reach out to him today? Won’t you let him bless and heal you? Share this with someone you love and let them know that Jesus wants to heal their hearts with his love.
As always, my phone line and email inbox are open if you need assistance. Bless the Lord! Bless you!

What a Day!

Luke 2: 8 – 13           Complete Jewish Bible

In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, when an angel of Adonai appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of Adonai shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God.

This is the familiar Christmas story but from a version you may not have read before. Today we get to look at this passage through Jewish eyes. Imagine, then, what it was like to be a Jewish shepherd 2000 years ago. Everyone had been taught about the coming Messiah. They were looking for him. As God sent Moses when the nation was in slavery in Egypt, they looked to heaven for God to send His savior to free them from the occupying forces of Rome. Behold, an angel appeared from God, Adonai, announcing that the savior, the deliverer has come.

You would expect bedlam to breakout. The long awaited deliverer had come. Any message brought by an angel is sure to be important but what of this Sh’khinah of Adonai? We would usually call this the “glory” of God, but the Jews have a bigger vision of the word. It is more than a shining light. It is more than a bright glow. This is the radiant presence of the Lord. The Sh’khinah glory of the Lord is what preceded and accompanied the Jews in the desert during the Exodus. When the angel appeared to the shepherds this “glory” enveloped everyone, not just the angel. The shepherds were bathed in and encompassed about by the light which was the sheen that radiates off of the Father. He was there, in that moment, to bring the good news about His son being born. Of course, the shepherds were overwhelmed by this presence and the angelic messenger. They were in the midst of an other worldly kind of event. Many times when an angel appeared to someone in scripture their first words were “Do not be afraid,” because people can be very startled by the appearance of spiritual beings. The shepherds apparently recovered themselves, though, because they stood there and received the angel’s message. Then, as if they had not been witnesses to a most amazing event, the host of heaven joined with that angel messenger in praise to the Lord. This version tells us that suddenly there was a vast army of heavenly beings there with the angelic messenger.

What a day in those shepherds’ lives. I bet they were never the same again. I wonder what the sheep did. Could they see the angels, the glory and the huge, heavenly entourage? Imagine those sheep as the ones selected for the sacrifice. That must have been some sacrifice after the Sh’khinah got all over the sheep.

It’s fun picturing these events as we read our Bibles. It’s also a fabulous way to receive revelation. Once you begin to run the movie suggested by the words the scripture comes alive. Imagine yourself as one of the shepherds sitting out in a field, bored to tears, watching a bunch of sheep when all of a sudden an angel appears, especially the angelic herald of the Savior, Messiah, Deliverer. That was a day to remember for them and one we still marvel over all these years later.

From Christmas to the Cross

Romans 12: 10        (Amplified)

Love one another with brotherly affections [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

This is a tall order to fill. Nonetheless, God would not have given us this directive if He had not also empowered us to do it. This, being the season of ultimate love, it is worthwhile to look at love from the author of love, our own dear Father. Even as we celebrate the birth of Christ, our sight drifts forward to the sure knowledge of Calvary. While the angels sang and the shepherds rejoiced in pure delight for the arrival of the Messiah, God in heaven knew the destiny of the babe, though men did not know. They did not realize that the Messiah would save all by sacrificing himself. Men thought of a conquering Lord of war. Little did they know that Jesus would overcome by his stripes and it was his deep and abiding love for you and me that gave him the strength to receive those stripes. It was love that brought him into the earth and it was love that put him on that cross. And it is love that will carry us all home.

He now lives inside of us. Because of that, his love also lives inside of us. We are able to love in a holy, self-sacrificial way because love has come and made its abode with us. Because He first loved, we love. And not because anyone deserves our love. Many do not deserve yours or God’s love, but He showed us how to love even when we were undeserving and unworthy. Now by his grace and because of His love and mercy, we love others, even the unlovely; those who are difficult to love. He loves them so we allow His love to work through us. Because He first loved a people; a person, who was unworthy of love and even unwilling to be loved, we allow him to express himself through us. During this season, His love is more touchable than ever. Let your heart be soft allowing him to fill you to overflowing with His goodness and love. Then pass it on. In his name.