Don Mackintosh is a professor and chaplain at Weimar Institute, Weimar, California, United States.

Have you ever experienced brokenheartedness? Perhaps through the loss of someone or something significant to you or the loss of a relationship? It is an intense sorrow.

Having recently experienced heartbreak when my mother suddenly died, I would describe it as an ache that impacts every organ in your body. After the initial shock, I began to look at what I was experiencing, through the lens of God’s Word and found some concepts that started to bring healing to me during this time:

1. God is near to those who are brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18).

2. God is active; “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3, KJV).

3. God is effective; He is personally familiar with brokenheartedness. “Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness” (Ps. 69:20, NKJV).

4. God enters into my brokenheartedness. “Surely He has borne [my] griefs and carried [my] sorrows” (Isa. 53:4, NKJV).1

5. God sheds tears because of human pain. I like the thought that a friend sent me about when Jesus wept for Lazarus (John 11:35). Carlos Rodriguez states, “Jesus knew Lazarus would rise again. Still, he wept. Because embracing pain is not negating faith. It’s actually part of being in the likeness of God. So have hope, but don’t deny your emotions. Pay attention to them. Feel what you feel. And enjoy the coming resurrection.”2 So join the long line of those who wept. Jeremiah wept until the tears no longer would come (Lam. 2:11), David wept because of Absalom, his son (2 Sam. 18:33), and Hannah wept because of barrenness
(1 Sam. 1:10).

So, it’s OK to weep—in fact, it’s godly!

6. God takes note of your every tear. “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Ps. 56:8, ESV).

7. The word “near” used in Psalm 34:18 literally means “to sew together” like a surgeon. He stitches our broken hearts back together one piece at a time. And after He stitches them back together, he “binds” them up (Ps. 147:3)—puts a bandage around them.

8. Christ has a body (His ecclesia—those who are called out) whom He works through in His healing activity (Prov. 31:8; James 1:27; 2 Cor. 1:3–11; Mark 2:1–12).

I have experienced the heart surgery of Christ’s body in my own church and the touching comments from hundreds on social media. Each experience is another stitch!

9. As God heals our broken hearts, we can then testify of the truth of Christ’s own promise. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4, KJV). As they sense His healing power, they will want to promote the Christ who promised to “heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18–21).

10. God brings healing as we praise Him. My father, a minister for 65-plus years, said, “Don, we are called in this time to believe what we have preached to others. We are called to believe—and I do believe. Look [at] what God is doing for us. Look at how His people are caring for this. We have much to praise God for.” So let us praise, knowing that He “inhabits the praises of His people” (Ps. 22:3).

I can still see my mother singing hymns from memory. As I sing those hymns, it gives me great comfort that she sang the same hymns, and we are, in a sense, still connected in our common faith in the God of the resurrection (2 Tim. 1:1–7).

Several weeks before my mother died, she talked with our minister of music, asking him to play a song that was meaningful to her through the years. It is called “Lo, What a Glorious Sight Appears.” Part of the song says, “His own soft hand shall wipe the tears / From every weeping eye; / And pains, and groans, and griefs, and fears / And death itself shall die!”3 Praise God. We will never part again!

The powerful preacher Charles Spurgeon, when preaching on brokenheartedness, told the story of a dog whose broken leg was set by a veterinarian. The dog was so overjoyed with the healing of his leg that he started to lead other injured dogs to the doctor. Spurgeon observed that if a dog can point people to the doctor who healed them, can we not do the same? Can we not point people to Christ the Healer?

May God bless you and me on our healing journey!

  1. See also Isaiah 57:15 and Isaiah 63:9.
  2. Carlos A. Rodriguez, “Therapy is God’s Work Too, ” Marriagetrac,
  3. Isaac Watts, “Lo, What a Glorious Sight Appears,” Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1985), no. 446.

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Don Mackintosh is a professor and chaplain at Weimar Institute, Weimar, California, United States.

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