Advent Promises

Friday, December 4
(God) heals the brokenhearted 
and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

With the Covid mortality rate relentlessly marching upwards, I meditate on the psalmist’s words, but I quite honestly wonder: I know God can heal and I even recall instances of his healing, but… It’s not only the physical suffering in the midst of this plague that causes my trust to slip, it’s the shattered dreams, the unending grief, the stumbling faith of new believers. Broken-hearted parents, children, wives, husbands, doctors, nurses surround me. 

Stephen Altrogge writes graphically about his own brokenheartedness: The idea that time heals all wounds is absolutely absurd. Time can’t heal wounds; only God can. Without the restoring balm of God’s grace, wounds fester over time. Paralytic bitterness invades the soul, consuming a person from the inside out… 

Two things strike me about God’s healing action: First, God initiates the action. Neither time nor friends’ soothing words—though sometimes tools of healing—are adequate. Second, the verbs are in the “present progressive tense” describing an action that takes place in the present and continues to take place. 

As bells ring and candles glow but nothing around me changes, I am forced to sink into the arms of the one—the only One—who knows what it’s like to be broken-hearted. He grieved when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. When Cain killed Abel. When a golden calf was chosen over a living God. When David seduced Bathsheba. When his Son hung in darkness on a cross.

Admit your slipping faith, examine your wounds,
ask hard questions. Look for healing.

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