"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

December 4, 2013

Broken Hearts: Advent Dec. 4

"But Noah found favor with the Lord."  -Genesis 6:8

Honestly, I'm not sure where my head is today.  I read the chapter for today (from The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp) this evening, and normally I like to do this sort of thing in the morning.  But I had to work late last night/early this morning, unexpectedly, so then I slept from 5am-12pm.  It seems to take me quite a while to recover after a night like that.  So my mind feels a little groggy right now.

So as I read this small chapter, my mind was not very clear.  I don't know that I understood much from it.  So I may not have a lot to write.  I will make an attempt.

The first thing that struck me, that always strikes me, when I read the story of Noah and the flood (in New Living Translation, at least) is what it says in Genesis 6: 6.
"The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.  So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth.  It broke his heart."  -Genesis 6: 5-6
 It broke His heart.  

I can just see the breaking.  The beings that He created, who chose to believe a whispered lie, choose to turn their back on a holy and loving God.  Despising where they have come from, who they have come from.  Choosing to indulge their selfish desires.

His heart breaks.  "The Flood was the flood of God's grief" (p.31).

"Every flood of trouble remakes the topography of our souls --making us better or bitter.  Every trouble is a flood, and we can either rise up or sink down" (p.32)

And His heart broke literally, on the cross.  And continues to break with every hurt and tear and cry.
"Yet Jerusalem says, 'The Lord has deserted us;
the Lord has forgotten us.'
'Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you! 
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins'." 
    -Isaiah 49: 14-16
He sees all our hurts, all that breaks our hearts.  And it breaks His heart too.  We are never forgotten by God.  We are not alone.  All we need to do is look at the palms of Jesus' hands.  There, in the scars, there in the broken heart, our names are written.

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