Many Christ-followers say they want want God’s heart. Worship songs entreat God to “break our hearts for what breaks Yours” or to give us “His heart for just one second.” So many times, I have heard people (including myself) praying that God would give us a piece of His heart for certain people or a certain situation.
Really? Do you really want God’s heart? I don’t think you or I could handle it.
So many times, we think of love only in the fuzzy warm feelings we get when we are with someone we love. Or we think of it in terms of the duty, obligation, or commitment to someone we love. But I think we forget about the pain. Love means brokenness and pain. A piece of this pain is the fact that those you love will be torn from you. Perhaps a car crash or a heart attack or some other tragic twist of fate. Maybe they will move to a different city or country. Maybe they will change and drift farther away from you. Maybe you will. Or, if all else fails, death will rip our loved ones from our arms. But even if we were never to be separated from those we love, we would still be taking a lot of pain. When we open up our hearts, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, of course we are more at risk of getting hurt.
We have all had people we love disappoint us. Parents get a divorce. Friends one day decide to betray and hurt you. Your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you. But all those things hurt ten times worse because you love the person. Whether it be friendship love or romantic love, you will end up getting hurt. Pain is inevitable.
We know a tiny bit about the pain that comes along with loving imperfect people. But to love on God’s level???
Can you imagine? The pain of the entire world. He loves us. He created and molded each one of us. He loved us enough to die the most wretched, horrible death imaginable. In that act on the cross, He made Himself vulnerable to us. And what do we do? Every blasted one of us spits in His face. Every cursed one of us pounds His nails just a bit deeper through our actions.
To endure the torment of rejection a billion times a billion times a billion times. To give your creation the gift of freedom, only to watch them make foolish decisions and hurt themselves. And then to endure their blame and hatred of you for their pain! And to still love despite it all. To still make yourself vulnerable in the hopes that one might one day choose to love you back. This is what it means to be God.
And we ask for His heart? We ask Jesus, the man of sorrow, for his broken, tormented, heart?
Really? I cannot handle my own pain sometimes, let alone His.
How does He do it? How does He love despite the pain? I can’t seem to master it.
Do we really mean it when we ask for His heart?
What if He answered your petition? And gave you just a tiny taste of the betrayal, scorn, and rejection. What if He actually did let your heart break for people you might have just passed on the side of the road otherwise? I mean really break your heart. Not the “oh-that’s-too-bad, cry for a while and forget by a month from next Sunday” type deal. Really broke your heart. If you could feel the love that He has for each person you walk by on a daily basis. And then the pain He feels for them.
Feeling his love for each and every single person.
It would kill us.
Do we dare to ask for His heart?