The Broken Heart That’s Good

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023

Today I am going to write about a scripture that God highlighted to me a few days ago. It just keeps rolling around in my thoughts and I think it is key to the season I am in. I’m hoping others can glean from it too. The verse is Job 23:16 (KJV):

16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:

The word “soft” here in the original Hebrew according to the Lexicon means: to break anyone’s heart. Isn’t that quite the image? We think of something soft as being cute and cuddly and heart-warming, not a broken heart. But let’s think more about how we make something soft. Let’s take a tough piece of meat as an example. If we want to soften it or make it tender, we get out a kitchen tool that resembles a hammer with sharp spikes on it and we pound on the meat until it has fully surrendered. That is exactly what the first part of this scripture is saying. In order for God to make our heart soft he has to get out one, or more, tool(s) until our heart says, “Ok, it is no longer me that lives, but You”.

Also listed in the full Lexicon definition for the word “soft” was the word “contrite”. In Webster’s 1828 dictionary this means: worn or bruised. Within the Webster’s definition was also a reference to Psalm 51. That verse being Psalm 51:17 (KJV):

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

The word “contrite” here according to the Lexicon means: to collapse (physically or mentally). So, this scripture is saying that God desires a heart that has collapsed (physically or mentally). This doesn’t mean He wishes heart disease or death upon us. The word heart in both scriptures is the Hebrew word “leb” which refers to our feelings, will and intellect. So again, it’s a breaking of our pride and will that God is after. He wants to break us of ourselves so that we are ready and willing to serve and follow Him.

Depending on our journey in life and our acquaintances along the way this process may take longer and require more of God’s softening tools. I am feeling like I am on the longer/more tools side of that spectrum. There are parts of my flesh that are having a harder time surrendering. It’s a combination of a lack of trust, being unsure of the full scope of God’s love and a feeling that I might miss out that seem to rear their ugly heads. Even still, I have not given up hope and I am deeply grateful that God is so patient and gracious in His softening. Sure, I would love to say my heart has reached full softening, but I am thinking this is one of those processes that is ever functioning at new and deeper levels. I also recognize that every hiccup overcome, or stronghold defeated along the way, will eventually become another arrow in my quiver. Someday I will use these arrows to help another believer navigate their path to victory. 

Final Thoughts…

Lord, we greatly desire a softened heart. We are done with our stony, prideful hearts. We want to live for You and Your magnificent glory, not us and our dim glory. While we know Your burden is easy and light, we acknowledge the fact that it will require a sacrifice. Just like You sacrificed Your life for us we must be willing to lose our life so that we can find it in You. Please help us to not get discouraged in our tenderization process, but to know that our softened heart will better position us for the incredible plans You have for us. Light up the places in our life that haven’t yet fully submitted to Your “hard-heart breaking” love. Help us to quickly decipher the lies of the enemy that try to get us to hold onto our stony heart. Let him not distract us from the softening process. Whether the process makes us feel weak, lonely or afraid, help us to remember that You are our strength, You never leave us, and that Your perfect love casts out all fear. Break us, Lord. Break us of everything that exalts itself above You, everything that is unwilling to yield to You. You gave it all to us and we desire to give it all back to You, softened and fit for purpose.