“Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
This is a line from a Hillsong United song called “Hosanna” and years ago I tearfully sang that song, making those words my prayer to our Father in Heaven. Be careful what you pray for, folks because our Father just might say yes, as He did in my case. And let me tell you, a continually breaking heart is painful.
Some people think that what breaks our Father’s heart is poverty, cruelty, abuse, maybe even sin, and all those things do break His heart, but His greatest heartbreak is the complete disconnect His followers have from the very Word, the very instruction that He gave us to follow. Oh we’re familiar enough with our favorite verses and passages as well as those that our preachers like so much, but when it comes to our understanding of what He really wants us to know, what He really wants us to do, we can only come up with the pat answers that we’ve grown accustomed to: “Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul,” “Love your neighbor as yourself,” “Do the will of God,” “Love one another.” That’s all well and good, but what does “loving God” look like? How do I love people I don’t actually like? How can I possibly know what the will of God is?
The fact is the answers are, for the most part, written out for us to find but we don’t know what we’re looking for, and that’s what breaks our Father’s heart. He gave us the instruction we need to have intimate fellowship with Him and with each other, but those instructions have been buried under mountains of theology and opinion. He’s calling out to every human being, but only a few can hear even a little bit. Talking specifically about Israel but alluding to others who want to know the Father, Isaiah said, “But this is a people plundered and looted; they are all of them trapped in holes and hidden in prisons; they have become plunder with none to rescue, spoil with none to say, ‘Restore!’” (42:22). Just like today, the instruction of God had been buried under mountains of human opinion and theology. It broke the Father’s heart then, it breaks the Father’s heart now.
Jesus spent his ministry in the restoration business and that made the Father’s heart glad. Any time His instruction is restored to those He meant it for is a time of great joy in heaven. I want to make the Father’s heart glad and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. I want to return to the Father’s instruction and return that instruction to those who want to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. It has been and will continue to be a long and difficult journey full of heartbreak, but also a peace that passes understanding. The heartbreak seems to outweigh the peace but I’m getting there. And every time my heart breaks and I know it’s breaking the same way my Father’s breaks, I am reminded of His faithfulness.
Father in Heaven, may I never become so hardened that Your heartbreak does not become my heartbreak. May I always and forever be soft, ready to see what You see and respond accordingly. And may I be one who cries, “Restore!”