A Broken Heart He Will Not Despise (Lent) - Thursday, February 22

lent 2018 devotions lutheran indian ministries

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Psalm 51:16-17 (NIV)

I find the words from the above passage to be very comforting. I have often found myself going to God with a sense of brokenness and with nothing to offer to Him because I have messed up, again. 

Alan E. Nelson, in his book, Embracing Brokenness, talks about what leads to brokenness—a significant brokenness that leads to a place where we look to God and see God. One of the points he makes is the threatening circumstances in our lives that promote brokenness, such as death, divorce, loss of a job, loss of financial security, etc, make us realize we are not in control and, therefore, seek the One who is.

In my situation, it would be the demands, expectations (both perceived and legitimate), obligations (again, both perceived and legitimate), and tasks of our ministry that threaten to overwhelm me. I have been learning this is when I need to pull back and seek God. 

Many times, I find myself running with my own ideas and my own agenda, resulting in anxiety and exhaustion. And, I discover, once again, I have lost sight that what we are doing is from God. It is then that I seek God, empty-handed and realizing I have nothing of my own to bring to Him, just my broken and empty heart. 

Yet, it is the words at the end of these two passages that always speak to me. They assure me my God is looking for and will accept a heart that is broken and contrite. So, I will stay there until I get my bearings. Then, I will get up again and go on, knowing God embraces and accepts me.

Dear Father in Heaven, once again, I come because of who you are and what you have done through Jesus. I say “Meegwetch” (thank you, in Cree) for embracing and accepting me, and for not giving up on me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Linda Martin (Cree)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada