God binds up the broken-hearted.
What is the purpose behind His caring for our deepest wounds? What is the motive?
Motives are important to me. When I make a decision, I sometimes can agonize longer over my motive behind that decision, then the time that it actually took to make the decision to act. I question people’s motives. No, it’s uglier than that. I judge people’s motives. I try to figure out what the motive is, and then I, in my pride and arrogance, pronounce judgement upon that motive. Maybe that’s a trust thing. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter; it’s just ugly of me no matter how it is sliced. Hiding behind the words “I have difficulty with trust” is a sham. It’s just ugliness.
And, in my ugliness, I have been known to judge God.
Which is so disastrous and fallible and foolish and, above all else, sinful. How could I, who know that God is all things good and just, not trust that His motives are such as well?
But, maybe with God, it is not so much that I am looking for error or for unrighteous motives. I’m not smart, but I’m smart enough to know I will find neither. Scripture is very clear on that. Psalm 145:15-19. 1 John 3:1-3. 1 Peter 2:22. And so much more evidence. He is sinless.
His motives are pure.
But what is His reasoning? Why does He care for our hearts? Is salvation not enough, and our achings and grievings in this world be damned?
Why did Jesus perform miracles–actual, literal, physical and soul miracles–while here on earth? Why raise the little girl from the dead? Why respond in healing compassion and look upon the “sinful woman” who washed His feet? Why did God give peace to the Psalmist’s soul over and over and over again? Was it not enough that He offered forgiveness of sins, and the hope of eternal life? Why was He concerned about their lives in this world, this broken world with its cancer and divorces and abuse and loneliness and diabetes? Why is He concerned when we are discouraged, or fighting deep depression, or battling addiction, or fearful, or worried about finances? Why does He care when the doctor’s report is grim, or when we are abandoned, or when we don’t think we can take another step, or when we are shaken by nightmares?
Why does he bind up the broken-hearted?
The healing of the grief in my life or yours does not produce salvation. It saves, yes. It saves me from endless blank-hole hopelessness that paralyzes and stultifies. O, my soul, how I know that His healing of deep, gruesome soul wounds saves. It saves me to Joy. But it does not produce salvation–eternal salvation. Only Christ crucified generates salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:18 shows that clearly.
But, what He does in your soul, and in my soul, is a daily, here and now manifestation of His grace. And grace is a conduit for salvation.
John Piper explains it infinitely better than I ever could hope to, in this article from 1991:
But even if signs and wonders can’t save the soul, they can, if God pleases, shatter the shell of disinterest; they can shatter the shell of cynicism; they can shatter the shell of false religion. Like every other good witness to the word of grace, they can help the fallen heart to fix its gaze on the gospel where the soul-saving, self-authenticating glory of the Lord shines.
I see myself, so clearly, in those words.
But is the healing of our broken hearts and our grief a sign and wonder?
Yes. A thousand times yes. I can’t explain why, I just know assuredly that they are, because it is a wonder what He has done, and continues to do, with the griefs of my life. And with the griefs of the lives of those that are dear to me, and those that I watch from afar. They are wonders. And, they are signs.
Signs of grace.
We will hurt because “hurt” is a part of this world and a part of our lives. We will grieve–both acutely, in moments of crises, and dully, as an undercurrent. But we will also experience signs and wonders and healing of those grievous things.
I guess, because He loves us.