Go ahead and break my heart!

     I enjoyed a nice sunny walk to church Sunday. The International Evangelical Church is just 10 minutes from my new house, 15 at a leisurely pace. The pastor is a North Carolina boy like me. One of the illustrations he used was from Nehemiah. This particularly caught my attention, because I’ve been studying that book this week. As I reread the beginning of Nehemiah I noticed something new. I have something in common with Nehemiah, and chances are so do you.
In Nehemiah chapter one, we see an ordinary guy, a cup bearer, in tears. He had received word of the oppression of the remnant in Jerusalem, and the city in ruins. In the next chapter we see him thrust into leadership as he embarks on one of the greatest reconstructions in recorded history. It struck me that so many leaders, so many ministries, and so many visions start out over a puddle of tears.
This not only applies to the people we consider leaders and visionaries; it applies to anyone becoming involved in ministry in some way. When our heart breaks over the things that break God’s heart we find ourselves being swept up in His work. Moses was overwhelmed with the oppression of his people and so was God. David was infuriated by the giant braggart insulting his God and so was God. Nehemiah was heartbroken over the destruction of the city of God and so was God. When our heart ache and frustration is aligned with God’s heart ache and God’s frustration; that’s when vision comes and we are thrust into ministry.
A number of years ago a couple of ordinary guys had their hearts broken 100,000 times over on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It turned out that God’s heart was breaking as well. Soon those ordinary guys found themselves thrust into leadership and caught up in a vision to restore the lives of the children of the street. The Forsaken Children and Onesimus Children Development Association were born of broken hearts. A few years later my heart was broken as well. I was suddenly swept up into a vision and compelled to act. Now I find myself in a place where I never thought I would be, and becoming something that I never thought I could be.
My heart still breaks every day. It breaks for Ruth. She is so sweet, but so poor. It breaks for Fikadu, whose hands are large and strong and legs are deformed from carrying heavy loads as a young street boy. It breaks for so many like Ephrem, who have been taken far from their loving families and forced to work to make others rich. I pray that my heart never stops breaking until every last child is saved and every family restored.
What does your heart break for today? Is it to see the true potential of your church reached? Is it the culture of materialism and self-centeredness that is consuming our youth? Is it the poor? Is it racial division and prejudice in our churches? Is it the oppressed, the orphan, the lost? Let the pain come, let the tears flow, but get ready. Chances are God’s heart is breaking as well.

Ruth and Hanna

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4 comments

  1. The blog brought back memories of a special song and I began to sing….
    My heart cries, my heart cries, for more of You
    My heart cries, my heart cries, for more of You
    I want to see your face, Feel your embrace
    Fill the empty place, inside my heart
    Under your wings, is where I long to be
    Just You and me Lord, never apart…..

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Your posts move us to action! We need that so we don’t get complacent here. As my heart cries more for Him in my life, the things of this world will grow dim and what breaks His heart will mine! Pray for us here Jon so that we are obedient to follow God and give Him our all! You pictures are on the wall reminding me to cover you, Jess and Wit in prayer. Love you brother! Deanna

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