The Broken Heart

The prophet Abraham was promised posterity that outnumbered the stars in the sky, or the sands in the sea.  Yet he and his wife, Sariah, were well past 90 and still had no children.   I cannot even imagine what kind of faith it must have taken to be that far along in age, wondering how the Lord’s promise to him could even possibly be fulfilled.
Have you ever been there? Have you received a promise from the Lord, only to be struck down with fear and doubt, because you could not see how it could possibly happen?
I think some of the biggest struggles in life are trying to understand the Lord’s will, especially after a promise appears to have been broken.  But God does not lie, and He has a purpose for all that we experience.  Our manner of understanding and of defining truth from lies is all done from our limited human perspective.  There is so much we do not know, and so much that God wants to teach us.  He will use trying circumstances to teach us and test our faith.  But, we cannot forget that He loves us.  He must know, however, that we are willing to devote our all to Him, even at the expense of our understanding.
Despite the fact that Abraham was a prophet, he surely must have wondered.  However, he persevered in his faith. Isaac’s birth was a miracle in its own right, and it came, well beyond what any “reasonable” man would have expected. It was a true miracle.
However, Abraham’s test did not end there.  After all of those years of patience and faith, he finally had his promise. Then the Lord commanded him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son!  Can you imagine what went through Abraham’s mind?  All the promises that the Lord had given him hinged upon Isaac.  After that test of patience and endurance, now the Lord required the sacrifice of this precious gift.
What faith it must have taken Abraham to gather his supplies together and head out for Mount Mariah.  However, he did not stall.  He surely did not know how the Lord could continue to keep the promises He had made, but he carried within an attitude of true faith and of no fear. “Lord, I know you promised me these things, and how they will come to pass is unknown to me.  Nevertheless I will follow thee and serve thee.”
Abraham passed his intense trial of faith.  He was willing to follow the Lord’s commandments, even though they did not make sense at the time. They may have even seemed cruel and vindictive.  Nevertheless, he took his son to that mountain,  and he built the sacrificial altar.  When he was about to slay Isaac, the Lord intervened, because Abraham’s faith was stronger than his fear.
If we but choose to endure our trials, even when it requires the sacrifice of our desire to understand or to see the bigger picture, we, too, will be blessed with not only the promises that the Lord has given us, but countless blessings more.  The true test of faith doesn’t come when the path is easy and the burden light.  It comes when we do not think we can move forward; when we cannot see the forest from the trees, and when we may start to doubt the Lord’s love and the fulfillment of His promises.
“Whether we descend into the dark night of our own soul through transgression, unwise choices, natural opposition, the invitation of God, or some mixture of causes, the crucial issue is whether we can in that experience yield our broken hearts contritely to God.  This willingness to sacrifice all things must reach broadly and deeply enough to include the sacrifice of our sins, our vanity, our self-esteem, and our love of worldly comforts.  Sometimes we must also sacrifice our determination to understand to our rational satisfaction why we should be lost in the darkness. When the light of the Savior’s atoning power finally pierces that darkness, compensating for our bitterness and carrying us up to the cycle to reconciliation and re-unity with God, the blessing of understanding will finally be ours, one result of “arriving where we started and knowing the place for the first time.” (Bruce C. Hafen, The Broken Heart)
— Michelle


One Response to “The Broken Heart”

  1. Joan Says:

    Well said. Thank you.