What does a prayer like “Break Me” look like? It looks different for each person. It may be lifting a burden, or giving us eyes of compassion. It may be God uncovering something about ourselves that we may have not seen in ourselves. God is so tender with our weaknesses, while he calls us into seemingly hard conversations of having to ask for forgiveness- he also gives us indescribable peace during those conversations. He is glorified and he reassures us that our debt has already been paid, and he uses this time to mold us more into his image. Associate Director of Student Ministries, Brendan Burge, recently attended the New Room Conference where he found himself praying “Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.” He shares more…
I struggle a lot with social media. I quite dislike the overall effects it’s having on our society, so I prefer not to take part in it. But I’m trying to do this thing where I say stuff that I’m feeling called to say so here I am posting and sharing on social media sites. As you go into this please know: I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for praise. Goodness knows my ego doesn’t need any of that. I’m just saying words I think I’ve been given to say.
Recently a friend said something to me that I’ve never been told before. “You just look so sad.” That’s sat pretty heavily with me the last few days. There was no way to deny it. I look sad because I am sad. 2018 has been a tough year, and I’m worn down and I’m sad. But the heaviness didn’t come from accepting the fact that I’m sad. It came from asking “Why?” It’s easy to fall back on what’s happened this year and the ways I’ve responded (some poor, some not). But a theme has been popping up a lot in my life recently. The theme of fulfillment. This life is often described as a reflection of eternity, but that’s not what it is. In fact, that’s Plato. No, this life is not a reflection. This life is a broken piece. To understand eternity through the lens of this life is like trying to look at the full picture of a 5000 piece puzzle through one single piece. Fulfillment is being put back together from that brokenness. And it is quite probably something that we’ll never understand until we see the full picture in eternity. I believe sadness especially is one of those things we try to understand through just the single piece.
For the past year or so I have prayed for God to break my heart for what breaks his. When my heart breaks for what breaks his there is a simple product: a broken heart. This year, my heart has broken. It has broken in ways I never expected. My heart has broken in envy. An envy I didn’t even know was there until the Lord led me there during a time of confession at the New Room Conference that caused my stomach to physically convulse. My heart has broken for my family. My heart has broken in the process of no longer working alongside one of my best friends and most inspiring leaders. My heart has broken as I have come up short in relationships that I have invested in and have invested in me. My heart has broken as I realize the depth of my desire for marriage, but my lack of preparation to be married. My heart has broken as I have struggled to mature in areas I so desperately want to mature in. My heart is broken and continues to break in so many ways. No doubt some of this is due to my own choices, but what if this is the Lord revealing to me the depth and reality of my prayer? Before this year I knew anger. I knew fear. I knew regret. But I didn’t know a truly broken heart. Is this what I truly desire? If this is what it means to have a broken heart, do I truly want my heart to break for what breaks God’s?
I want to view the world as God does, in fullness. I don’t want the world’s version of happiness. I want hope, and the joy that’s found in hope. I want to know the depths of my brokenness so I can better know the waters of grace that pour into every inch of that pit. That overflow and flood out around it. I want to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” The more time I spend in this season, the more my heart breaks, the more I am assured that doing those things is inextricably linked to a broken heart. When we act justly, we see injustice. And our hearts break. When we love mercy, we see cruelty. And our hearts break. When we walk humbly with our God, we see our brokenness. And our hearts break. I want to be told “You look so sad” and to look that person in the eyes and respond “Praise God.”
Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.