No Sufficient Answers

A broken world filled with sickness and suffering reminds me that I do not have sufficient answers to offer a broken heart. I’m not sure anyone does. But in my own way I know the pain of a broken heart. Not only have I shared in the suffering and heartbreak of others as a pastor, I have personally felt the pain of a broken heart. We all have. In all this brokenness I have discovered this heart-healing truth: Jesus never walks away from a broken heart.

In my personal brokenness I didn’t need answers. I needed some peace. Yet, confusion and doubt made peace an elusive chase until Jesus showed up. I wish I could say it was a rush of warm and fuzzy feelings, but it just wasn’t. It was sitting alone in my living room chair when I realized I wasn’t alone. I was holding my bible in my lap desperately trying to open it. I knew it was the right thing to do. I was sobbing. And I didn’t not want to open that bible. Not at all. I’m not even sure I could have if I wanted. But I kept hearing this small voice whisper in my head “count it all joy…count it all joy…count it all joy.” All I could think is how I felt everything but joy. I knew the scripture. So I picked up the bible and turned to James:

Count it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (1:2-4)

I confess that this verse did not bring comfort. Not one bit. What did bring comfort was that I knew at that moment that the relentless Voice pointed to the very presence of Jesus Himself and that Book was there to remind me. I wasn’t alone in my brokenness. Jesus didn’t walk away from my broken heart. He never does. At that moment when my heart found a small portion of rest I knew that it was Jesus all along. He was leading me to that ever-elusive peace. This became my joy.

It took more time spent with Jesus before the roots of peace grew deep into my soul. So I began crying with Him, shouting at Him, looking to Him and many times, sitting quietly listening for Him. He was always there.

As a pastor I am reminded that I do not have sufficient answers to offer in times of deep sorrow and suffering, but I do have this: Jesus never walks away from a broken heart. And He will not walk away from you. He is there. Do anything you can to listen for Him—to Him. If you can’t hear him in the midst of the noisy confusion, don’t worry. He hears you and He won’t leave you. This is His promise. Trust Him. And when the noise scatters, His voice will remain. When you finally hear Him, keep listening and don’t forget to open your bible. He will let you know what to do when the time is right.

Jesus never walks away from a broken heart and He will not walk away from you.

(Read Psalm 34:18, 55:22, 56:8, 73:26, 147:3, Isaiah 41:10, John 10:1-15, 14:18, 21, 23, Matthew 10:26-31, 11:28-30 Hebrews 13:5-6, 1 Peter 5:6-7, 8-11)

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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3 Responses to No Sufficient Answers

  1. David Faith says:

    Fred, I read this while I was listening to this Celtic Women theme It adds a new dimension to your excellent post! Thanks! Dave


  2. Pingback: No Sufficient Answers « Forgiveness Factor

  3. “He never walks away.”
    I love this. Thank you.


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