I had lunch with an old friend from college today who was holding on to a broken-hearted joy. For many years, two of his children have been wandering in far countries, like prodigals aiming at pig styes. Two children who had left the fold and with it, despite all of my friend and his wife’s invitations and expressions of love being unrequited, they have held on to their own joy in Christ. Broken hearts hold all the tighter to the Wonderful Counseler. He and his wife have labored on for the glory of God and the joy of their neighbors with broken hearts. But they have continued to trust two of their children to the faithfulness of God through their tears.
Today he told me of some movement from both children that had given some first glimmers of God’s Spirit turning the hearts of children back to their family, and maybe, back to God. His joy is still broken-hearted but he has renewed hope. But even more, he and his wife have sensed the Lord’s presence in refreshing new and almost unexplainable ways. No visions, no sky writing, no voices in the night—just the overwhelming sense that God is near. It reminded me of Psalm 34.
Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
. and saves the crushed in spirit.
The Psalmist gives us priceless truth to hold on to the midst of a sometimes brokenhearted-joy.
You will have those times. Those times when your sorrows mix with your joys in ways that seem almost inexpressible and yet completely and wonderfully real and indisputable. My friend’s joy was like that.
May your sorrows be few and your joys be many. And may God give you a sense of His presence in both your joys and your sorrows. And may your broken-hearted joy, like my friend’s, remind you that He is always the Wonderful Counselor.
For a companionable post from Tim Challies see the following link Singing in the Dark.