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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

Broken Hearted
February 13, 2012 By Ed Wrather

02.13.12

And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. - Mark 15:37 NKJV.

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. - John 19:31-34 NKJV.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. - Hebrews 4:15 NKJV.

I never knew that having a broken heart is an actual medical condition. A TV station in my state (newsok.com; news9) mentioned the condition today. A Google search led to information about the condition at Mayo.com and to an article dated 01.26.12 on About.com by Richard N. Fogoros, M.D. The condition used to be called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, but is now called stress cardiomyopathy. It is a serious condition with symptoms similar to a heart attack with shortness of breath and pressure in the chest. It occurs when part of the heart suddenly balloons resulting in a less effective pumping action. It is usually caused by being emotionally traumatized in some way. The good news is that the person experiencing the broken heart usually recovers within a few days or weeks.

The article on About.com indicated that the incidence of broken hearts increases substantially on and around Valentine's Day. If you have ever had a relationship suddenly end, or even had a sudden disruption of a relationship you know that this can be traumatic. My wife and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary last month. For most of our marriage, we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship, although there have been some brief periods of stress and trauma. Although I have never had stress cardiomyopathy, whenever there has been stress in my relationship with my wife it has felt like my heart was broken.

Without Jesus in my life, my marriage would have ended long ago. The very best thing that I have ever done to sustain my marriage was a commitment to Jesus Christ. My marriage has grown even stronger as I have made commitments to pray, to read the Bible, and to attend church.

We have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who has experienced the worst that this world can thrust upon a person. As the Bible says, Jesus "...was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Jesus knows what it is like to have a broken heart because that is what He died from; a broken heart (Because of the sudden cry, and bowing of the head of Jesus, many doctors analyzing the Biblical record believe that He died of a cardiac rupture.). Because Jesus has successfully endured terrible emotional and physical trauma without surrender to the demands of the world, He is able to help us.

What is the spiritual cure for a broken heart? Look to Jesus! "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (Hebrews 12:1b-3 NKJV)." Lay aside the weight, the trauma of that broken heart, by turning your eyes upon Jesus. As the old hymn says:

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

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