Enduring a broken heart is something the world despises. It turns to break-up albums, which have been coming down the music industry pipeline on a daily basis it seems, for soothing relief from the burn.
Christians, however, are a peculiar people. Brokenness is a way of life. It is expected. Jesus, the One we claim to be our Master (and indeed no servant is greater than his Master), told us that we would have tribulation while we are in this world, but "take heart," He added.
Brennan Manning in his book THE FURIOUS LONGING OF GOD confessed his utter brokenness. He was a recovering alcoholic. He was once a priest in the Franciscan order, but then he left the priesthood. He was once married, but then he got a divorce. He wrote about having a fiery closeness with God one day, and then the next while conducting his ministry duties he would witness unspeakable suffering and wonder if God existed at all -- though his heart would remain firmly in the Hands of Jesus, even when he recoiled at the horrors he encountered.
In some way or another, we are all broken like Brennan Manning. What he recognized, however, that his brokenness and failures were not powerful enough to stop the fierce storm of God's longing and love.
The furious longing of God is unstoppable -- assuming, of course, that a person willingly opens their hearts to Him. He is a gentleman, after all, and He will not force a relationship with a person who absolutely wants nothing to do with Him.
There's a big difference between a believing Christian who has a broken heart and a shattered nature -- one riddled with failures -- and an unbelieving person who loathes the idea of ever uttering a single prayer or believing in God. For the latter, God will say to them, "Thy will be done" -- for if they want to reject Him, He has placed a limit on Himself so that He cannot force them to be saved.
But for those who are indeed saved but are broken -- which is all of us -- His longing for us and His love for us will overtake our lives like a fierce storm.
And there's nothing we can do about it.
The late Brennan Manning (1934-2013) wrote a book, published in 2009, called The Furious Longing of God. This blog series will go through the book, meditate on selections from it, and give the reader an in-depth look into one of the most powerful Christian books of our time.