Picking Up the Pieces

Psalm 147

One of my favorite songs of the past ten years is Seether’s “Broken.”  The title describes the song perfectly; the lyrics are about emotional brokenness.  The song, for me, perfectly describes what happens to a person when a relationship ends.  If you’ve never heard it, or if it’s been awhile, here’s the video:

I deal with broken people all the time in my work as a hospice chaplain.  People broken by the realization that their journey in this life is coming to an end, and in many cases before it otherwise would.  People having to readjust to life without their loved one.  And that’s just from 8 to 5, Monday to Friday.  We’re surrounded by broken people:  financially broken, relationally broken, spiritually broken.  We’re all broken in some way (only a few of us are honest about it).

We try all kinds of things to pick up the pieces and glue them back together.  I counsel people constantly on practical ways they can deal with grief in a healthy way.  Many, however, do not.  They jump into a new relationship too quickly after a divorce.  They up their alcohol consumption.  They throw themselves into busyness instead of coping with their brokenness.

Look, however, at what Psalm 147:1-3 says,

Praise the LORD!  For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds

The stuff we use to medicate our brokenness only provides temporary relief and escape.  Eventually, the pain returns.  When we medicate our brokenness, it’s like putting a band aid on cancer.  You might treat a symptom, but the disease still exists.

The gospel of Jesus is different.  Jesus was brutally honest about the state of life when he said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  Faith in Jesus doesn’t exempt us from brokenness and pain.  But he does promise to pick up the pieces.  The gospel provides hope in hopeless situations.  It provides peace in times of sorrow.  It provides the promise that one day, God will make all things right again.

God uses many different avenues to heal brokenness.  Scripture is one–it’s His direct communication with us.  In my work, the Psalms are especially comforting.  God also uses other people to heal brokenness through kind words, sacrificial action, and even just presence.  These things and more can bring emotional and spiritual healing to our brokenness.

Healing from a physical wound often means a scar is left behind–a physical reminder of the pain.  Scars, however, always tell great stories (just ask someone “How’d you get that scar?”).  The same can be said for emotional and spiritual wounds.  They leave “scars.”  Those scars remind us of our painful experience, but they also remind us that we are healed, and continue to heal.  We can look back with thankfulness for the experience because God brought us through it, through whatever means necessary.  That, in and of itself, is very comforting.

How has God picked up the pieces for you?  How has he “bound your wounds”?


About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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