Promises When You Are Broken

There the bird sits quietly on the branch of a tree.

Activity is evident all around. Other birds flying to and fro and butterflies of all kinds in the air. And yet, this one bird never moves. It sits. Watching and waiting.

I believe there are times in life when your heart is broken. And we can learn such a lesson from this little bird about watching and waiting. Perhaps you’re in the valley of the shadow of loss. And when your losses are compounded, one after another, your heart breaks and you enter into the place of weeping and brokenness that Psalm 84:6 speaks of: “When you pass through the Valley of Weeping…”

A heart that breaks is a heart that loves deeply. In the last several years I have experienced much loss. And I love deeply the dear friends, family, and all the precious amazing co-laborers of the gospel and servants of the Lord in my life.

In times when I am broken I sit, like this little bird. Watching and waiting. Watching what the Lord is going to do. And waiting for His provision, protection, and guidance.

Sometimes faith needs to sit still and wait on the Lord. But make no mistake. A faith that sits, watches, and waits is still an active faith. You are still walking on water with your faith, though you are waiting on the Lord.

I think about the centurion who had a servant he loved who was dying. The centurion sent word to Jesus —

Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Luke 7:6-10

The centurion watched and waited, believing the power of the word of the Lord. If Jesus said it, that settled it. And Jesus was amazed by his faith. The most important thing we can do in the valley of weeping and the place of brokenness is live in the promises of God. And then, we become like that centurion — a faith walking person.

Here are some words I wrote more than a year ago in my quiet time study, Walk On Water Faith, that encourage and challenge us to be faith walking people —

Jesus is looking for faith walking people just like the centurion. Faith walking people pray. They attempt things well beyond their own strength. They are not daunted by feelings of despair and discouragement. When people tell them it’s over, they know that God is on the move in their lives…they know it’s not a setback, but a new day. God is doing something greater than what they had in mind. Faith walking people don’t give up. Hear it again. They don’t give up…Faith walking people are simply not interested in short-sighted statements. They only want to know what God says in His Word. They want to know what He promises and what He commands.
Walk On Water Faith, Quiet Time Ministries Press, 2014

I am always challenged by those words. I remember writing them over a year ago and thinking about how God is growing us all into faith walking people. And I love those words for any who are suffering the valley of the broken heart. I have many friends who are going through so many difficult times right now. And I know they, too, are experiencing pain, anxiety, fear at times — some of the many emotions in the place of brokenness. I think of dear Sheri Rose Shepherd who is in a battle with cancer. And then, our wonderful hero of the faith, Anne Graham Lotz, just lost her husband this week. And you, too, dear friend, may also be experiencing the broken place that I have known.

Always remember that the LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18 NLT). Oh this is your greatest promise today. For Jesus knows and understands. He has experienced it all and truly knows the pain of your broken heart. We learn this in Isaiah 53 —

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Isaiah 53:3-5

Hear those words again about your Lord who is so close to you — the Lord Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. That is another one of your great promises. He knows. Hang on to Him dear friend. He will carry you through all your valleys of brokenness to the other side.

And that leads me to one more thing. Your life is a pilgrimage of the heart. The psalmist says in Psalm 84:5 that blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Sometimes the most painful times of life seem to last forever and drag on and on. But the fact is they are seasons and the Lord will walk you through to another part of His plan. I firmly believe in the theology of the new day. I have spoken on this for many years and I think about Isaiah 43:19 where God says, “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”

And so, like this bird, we watch, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and we wait on Him, all the while living in His magnificent promises.

Can you imagine how it will be to know, when you are face to face with your Lord, that He was amazed by your faith in the same way as the centurion. Oh what a joy that will be.

In the last month before my mother suffered her stroke in February of this year, she said to me more than once, some words that I have thought of often since. She said, “Catherine, I am so very pleased with you.” Every time she said that, my heart just burst with love and joy. I am comforted often thinking of those words now.

Dear friend, think about the day when you step into heaven. And the Lord holds you close, looks into your eyes, and says, “I am so very pleased with you.” Oh friend, you will know — then you will know, the great value of living in His magnificent promises and trusting in Him every step of the way on your pilgrimage of the heart.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Watching And Waiting
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: A blue bird sitting in the Osher Rainforest, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 08/11/15
  • Camera: Nikon D810 70.0mm-300.0mm — FL 170.0mm, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/500 sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot in San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, OnOne Software, Nik Software.
  • Copyright ©2018 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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