Let me ask you this…How many times have you been asked how you are doing and you have said, “Fine” when you really weren’t? We have all done it. And we do this for a lot of reasons, I understand that. But today we are talking about the times when we really aren’t fine.
How about in prayer? When we are talking to God, do we say something like, “Hi God, I am doing fine, don’t really need anything. Thanks, Bye.” Please don’t laugh – this is what we do!
Somewhere along the way we build and put on the mask. This mask of everything is ok and I can handle everything and no one is going to know me or hurt me.
Psalm 51 is the ultimate prayer of confession. It puts all out there; it is an unmasking. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment (3-4). Translation, “I am busted, I am wrong, and I know it and you know it God.”
Here is what we do instead. We say “What sins?” We say, “I put those under the rug, so we can’t talk about them; off-limits and not relevant anymore.” We say, “What are you talking about; I don’t do anything wrong.”
And that works for a while. When we say, “What sins?” we exploit other people’s understanding and mercy and blindness. As well, these rugs seem to have a lot more space than it seems.
But it doesn’t work with God. “You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart (6).” We can hide, avoid and fool others but at some point we meet God in a different place than anybody else – this “inward being.” And it says God desires truth there.
And, I would add that it is not just stuff we have done. It is when other people have hurt us too that completes our total brokenness ratio.
Please read the following lyrics closely. This song was offered during worship a years ago.
You can have my heart
Though it isn’t new
It’s been used and broken
And only comes in blue
It’s been down a long road
And it got dirty on the way
If I give it to you will you make it clean
And wash the shame away
You can have my heart
If you don’t mind broken things
You can have my life if you don’t mind these tears
Well I heard that you make old things new
So I give these pieces all to you
If you want it you can have my heart
So beyond repair
Nothing I could do
I tried to fix it myself
But it was only worse when I got through
Then you walked into my darkness
And you speak words so sweet
And you hold me like a child
Till my frozen tears fall at your feet
By Julie Miller
BMG Songs Inc/Verdugo Music/Word Music(ASCAP)
See, God works best with broken hearts. Because when our hearts and our lives are broken and we are able to say it, the sin and the pride have been shattered and it that is when His grace can pour and flood into our hearts. And it is then that we can truly know Him and His wondrous love. Until then, it is all surface – the mask; superficial and going through the motions. Until then the grace can only seep or drip through and we know that it isn’t enough.
After the confession part of Psalm 51, it proclaims, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit (12). Salvation in Jesus is joyous. The question has to be asked of many believers, “Where is the joy?”
We won’t know the “joy of God’s salvation” in Jesus, until we acknowledge our brokenness. We won’t know this joy if we keep convincing ourselves and telling everyone else that we are fine and everything is okay – when we aren’t.
One more thing – you’re not alone. We get to thinking that we are the only one who is broken. We are look around at others or down the pew in church and think, “They have it together.” But in fact, “they” are looking at you thinking the same thing. We all have our broken pieces – each one of us – me too.
And God wants to work with them and through them; and He brings people into our lives who want to listen and hold our hands through it all.
Maybe it’s time to let Him; and let others help too.