Tag Archives: healing the brokenhearted

In the past I have been known to have some serious sleep issues. Anxiety is usually the culprit… worry, fear, etc. etc.. In the last several months, however, I’ve noticed a healing taking place in that area. It use to be that I could go for a couple nights without getting any sleep at all, and now for the last several months I rarely have one night where I am having trouble falling asleep. The Lord has restored a peace to me that I haven’t had since elementary school! It’s quite amazing, actually.

Unfortunately, last night that same enemy of insomnia crept up on me again. I was worried… again. I was distressed about friends that were struggling with addiction and despair. I was wrestling fear issues in my own heart. Hopelessness started to set in a little bit and the tossing and turning continued. In desperation for some sleep I asked the Lord for help. Please Jesus… I have GOT to get some sleep! It was a scene that was all too familiar as I tried to examine my heart… repent for my fear, worry, or anything else that I might be allowing to rob me of my sleep.

And then He started speaking this passage to me in Isaiah:

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called mighty oaks,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.

I have heard this passage taken out of context and people attribute portions of it to themselves. I have to admit, when I started to hear Him speak to me that passage at around midnight, I thought maybe He was telling me what I was suppose to do… but instead He was telling me who HE WAS. This is a prophecy about the Jewish Messiah, not about the ones He came to save. My immediate reaction was… “okay! I’m in, God! Let’s do it!” But what He was really saying to me was… “when are you going to start believing that this is who I am? That I’m the only one what can heal the brokenhearted, turn broken men into mighty oaks, set people dancing who were once in despair? When are you going to let Me be that in Your life? When are you going to start believing that I am who I say I AM in the lives of your friends?”

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Recently I heard about a ministry where during their church service a young woman stood up to bring a prophetic word:

“I believe that thousands of young people will come here to join this ministry and I don’t mean people with problems…!”

My wish isn’t to critisize another ministry but to point out the obvious and painful reality that is spreading throughout many churches. When you have a church full of people with problems, things will inevitably get messy. When you claim that everyone in your church is without problems or issues, that is when things get even messier. The problem is, everyone has issues and the more your congregation avoids those issues, the less likely your church is to grow and flourish… and trust me there just aren’t enough “perfect people” to fill up the seats in a ministry. They don’t exist. Clearly, the ministry was seeking fame for itself… they didn’t care about ministering to broken people… you know the kind of broken people that Jesus hung out with. What is the purpose of a church that doesn’t minister to the broken? Hype. The bigger their numbers, the more loud and exciting,… the bigger their name.

This summer I had a dream. I dreamt I walked into a room that was full of puppies. I love puppies and I knew, in my dream, I was free to take whatever puppy I wanted. Most of the puppies were beautiful and adorable. I remember a beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever and a cuddly St. Bernard among the wiggly animals. In the room with the puppies were several African orphan children. As I scanned through the many puppies I couldn’t seem to make a decision and so I asked the orphans which one I should take with me. The orphans brought me a skinny, quiet, ugly puppy.

This is the one you want me to take? You think this is the best one? I was very disappointed. I wanted to take care of a puppy that was pretty and clean and happy. Sometime before the dream ended I went from picking out an ugly puppy to picking out which orphan I would take home with me. The Lord has since taken me on a journey about this subject.

I have to confess that I haven’t always wanted to minister to the broken but for some reason, since high school, I am always finding myself around broken people and I always seem to be ministering to them. I’m realizing that my perception of what the Lord has invited me to do isn’t even based on what He has actually  called me to do. Maybe the adventure he has invited me on isn’t as glamorous as I thought it was. It could be that one day I’ll move to Africa and live in a remote, mosquito-infested  jungle among starving children… but how am I going to prepare for that?

By learning to love the broken, spiritually starved people in Little Rock. That’s how. The ones addicted to crack and heroin; the ones who sit in the Quapaw Quarter begging for extra change; those that sell themselves for cash to spend on their habits. Next month I am preparing to move to a new place with my friend Toni. As I have been praying about where we should live, the thought of moving to downtown Little Rock has been a constant, nagging sensation. This morning I woke up with this vision of our house being full of addicted people; People starving to know the love of the Father; People who try to control their pain through drugs, binge-drinking and sex. These are the people that make religious people feel uncomfortable. But my heart is to love these people and make Jesus known to them. To pray the love of the Father over them and to see them set free from all of their “problems”. To call out, through prophecy, who they really are and who Jesus has destined them to be.

If no one wants to take them, I’m up for the challenge.