“I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.”
Are you broken over brokenness?
Are you suffering the anguish of a fiancé who has just learned that the love of her life is indulging online?
Are you the sobbing mother of a once-trusted teenager, shockingly discovered to be deceiving you and making destructive choices?
Maybe you are the struggling grandmother who is desperately trying to raise her grandchildren while simultaneously attempting to set boundaries with their parents – your children – who attempt to steal from you to support their drug habit?
Are you the wife who cries herself to sleep at night because the husband, whom you have never stopped loving, has left you to engage in an alternative lifestyle?
Do you identify with the sister who helplessly watches her alcoholic brother lose another job, end up homeless and on the streets… again?
When you deeply love someone who is chasing after sin instead of chasing after God, it leaves you broken.
Jeremiah experienced the same brokenness.
He was broken because he knew and understood where his loved ones’ sin would lead them. God had revealed to Jeremiah the immediate devastation of his loved ones’ sin, as well as the eternal consequences.
The ones Jeremiah loved, his “dear people,” were content in their choices. Ironically, they didn’t see their behavior as being contrary to God, they saw themselves as being “right” with God simultaneously with being “right” with their sin.
They thought they were chasing after God, while they literally chased after the very things God had told them NOT to chase after.
They were deceived. They were believing a lie. They didn’t think that what they were doing was wrong.
“But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.
Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? Then do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My name and say
“We are delivered, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts?”Jeremiah 7:8-10
Because they weren’t listening to truth.
Where can truth be found?
God. His Word. His people.
Maybe you have been the one to try to speak truth into the lives of your “dear one.” Maybe you are like Jeremiah, trying to warn them, trying to reason with them, trying to show them where their choices will lead them. Maybe you are begging them to “return” for their own sake as well as your own.
Maybe they will listen.
Maybe they won’t.
You can’t choose for them. But you can choose for you.
So choose to…
Chase after truth.
Every day. Fill your mind with His truth. Allow Him to speak to you, mourn with you, and show you your purpose in the pain. Ask Him to lead you in the “paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” He may not take the horror away. He may reveal things to you that are even more painful than what you are already aware, yet He promises to be with you.
He will never forsake you.
And don’t forget that He will not forsake the one you love.
God is still chasing after them. He will never give up on them even though they are completely rejecting Him for the moment.
God is awesome like that. He has a way of persistently pursuing His image-bearers in a tireless fashion. He loves your loved one even more than you do. He may ask you to speak truth into their lives, as Nathan confronted David (2 Samuel 12:7) or He may ask you to live truth, while remaining silent (1 Peter 3:1).
Let God Do the Work.
Be obedient by listening to God’s Word daily, seeking His presence, and obeying what He tells you to do (or not do). But remember, we are just His instruments. He is the One who opens the eyes of the blind, and changes the heart of stone into a heart of flesh.
God does the work.
Let Him do it.
Sometimes God chooses to get the attention of those we love through discipline. Hard times. Tough circumstances.
Don’t try to rescue your loved one by sheltering them from the pain of their choices. Remember that God uses complete brokenness to turn those He is chasing back to Him.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Which reminds me. How do we endure our brokenness over the broken ones we love?
By keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Have you noticed how much you’ve grown in your walk with the Lord since enduring the horror and pain of loving someone who is caught in sin? Are you aware of how you are more desperate for Him than you ever were? Have you compared your prayer life pre-trauma and post-trauma… you know, the prayer life that used to be described as “I’m trying to pray more” to “I wouldn’t miss my prayer time if wild horses tried to drag me from it.”
I don’t know. Wild horses? I couldn’t think of an analogy, but you get what I am saying.
Prayer has become second nature to you.
You are clinging to and chasing after God like never before in your life.
And that is how you hold fast.
That is how you get through.
You cling to His promises to you.
You commit to His purpose for you – He’s using you and refining you!
Examine and guard your own heart.
Jeremiah’s message from God remained steadfast.
Hear the Word of the Lord… Correct your ways…Act justly…”Jeremiah 7:1-5
Practice a life of spiritual examining, confessing, repenting and replacing.
Examine, asking the Lord to reveal the sin in your own heart and life. He will do this, very convictingly, through His Word as well as through the sharpening words of the godly people with whom you choose to surround yourself.
Confess to God regularly – with humility and yes, brokenness – the sin God reveals to you, small or large. Seek personal accountability with those you love and trust.
Regularly repent of that which needs to be forsaken and REPLACE what has been rejected with what is good, pure, and right.
We will always battle with sin and its results/ramifications as long as we live on this broken earth. Remember, there is a difference between choosing to sin and struggling with sin. Obstinate, rebellious, unrepentant sin – choosing and chasing after sin – is different than recognizing that you are in a spiritual battle with sin.
Don’t give up the fight. Get on the full armor of God, my friend! Keep fighting against sin.
Fight against the real enemy – SIN. Don’t fight against the person who is caught in their sin. They are not the enemy.
Sin is the enemy.
Intercede for one another… engage in the battle.
This war is not over. God has placed you in the middle of the battle to be His warrior.
Pick up your sword and FIGHT!
Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 5-8