SCRIPTURE - Joel 2:12-13
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
In Biblical times, "rending" or tearing garments was a way people would express deep sorrow or mourning. Like fasting, this was something that someone could technically perform in action, but without meaning it in their hearts. Here, we see a message calling the Israelites to truly connect with the heart of God, not perform a ritual. God's heart is one of grace, compassion, mercy, understanding, and forgiveness. Again, we see that God cares more about the posture of our hearts more than the actions we perform.
How do we tear our hearts? Sounds painful. But the truth is, it probably should be. At times, a broken heart before God can draw us closer to Him in powerfully unique ways that a whole heart can’t. Our hearts can break when we remember exactly how much God gave up to save us. They can break when we realize how many people around us have yet to experience His love. They can break when we are honest with ourselves about where God currently lands in our priorities. Our hearts break when we come face to face with the truth that we haven’t been loving God the way He has loved us and the way He deserves. But meeting and healing broken hearts is God's specialty.
How might your heart need to break today? Out of thankfulness for God's works in your life? In sorrow for those who have yet to know Him? As repentance in response to conviction from the Holy Spirit?
"God, meet the deepest parts of my heart's brokenness today. Help me become aware of what you've done for me and how I can honor you with a deeply reverent heart before you. Keep my eyes on you and what you’ve done for me."
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