Encouraged by What God Cannot do
I think the most encouraging thing about God is something He cannot do. It’s hard for me to think of God, the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One, as not being capable of something. But He says there is something that He cannot do. And it really encourages me. Hebrews 6:18 confesses, “it is impossible for God to lie.” That means He keeps His promises. That’s kind of a big deal because He has made no less than 7000 promises to us in the Bible. An even bigger deal: it is impossible for Him to not keep them.
Here’s a promise He makes that I deeply treasure, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). The word heal in that verse is the Hebrew word rapha and it means to repair or restore. The word for brokenhearted implies a heart broken to pieces. Something delicate has been shattered.
You know what that feels like. You may have a broken heart right now. Someone you love has walked away, or harmed you, or violated something so precious. Finding out was like a fist-blow to the stomach. You felt like you couldn’t get a breath for a long time. Suddenly your heart felt like glass, dropped and shattered on cold concrete.
God promises. He cannot lie. He is willing to heal, to repair what has been shattered in you. Bury your head and your heart in His care, be totally real with Him, don’t stop crying out to Him … and give Him time. He can put your heart back together again. Piece by piece. He promises.
A Beauty More Resilient
Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Billy Graham, once met a scrap metal salesman who, over time, built for himself a majestic house made entirely out of broken, thrown-away stuff from the junkyard. Tall rusted gates, large porch columns that were chipped and stained, broken and scarred bricks. But the sight of it was beautiful. The man discovered a huge quantity of broken pieces of fine china in the hardened soil of his front yard and began digging it all up. Strangely, he spent hours carefully fitting and gluing the broken pieces together. Very few ever came out looking like they did before. They were an eclectic collection of a restorer who cared. Everything was a bit misshaped and irregular – but a new kind of beauty emerged from the broken pieces. A beauty more resilient. (Adapted from Ruth Bell Graham, Legacy of a Pack Rat)
God is the same kind of Artist with our hearts. He gathers our shattered pieces and lovingly glues them back together. Sometimes a heart so shattered takes on a brand new form in His hands — and comes to look nothing like it did before … but emerges with a new kind of strength and new beauty.
The most encouraging thing about God may be the thing He cannot do. He cannot, absolutely will not, lie about His promise to put you back together.