Posted by: bellissimanh | April 21, 2009

A Broken Hallelujah

Have you ever been there… to that place of desperation? I have.

Have you ever experienced a time when circumstances grew so overwhelming that you were at a complete and utter loss? A time when the pain threatened to suffocate you, and you couldn’t make sense of anything anymore? Did you feel that growing sense of a total inability to cope?

A woman battling dark depression who can’t seem to find her way out of that seemingly bottomless pit, thinking that there must be more than this.

A husband driving home with the weight of the world on his shoulders, wondering how he’ll tell his wife that he was the latest casualty in the company downsizing.

A young couple weeping over the loss of their child, a baby girl taken much too soon… even before her first birthday.

A now single dad wondering how in the world he didn’t see the signs… wondering what he could have done differently… now suffering from betrayal of the worst kind as he watches his wife leave with his best friend.

The addict wanting more than anything else to kick these drugs that have held him captive for so long, and yet feeling powerless to stop… returning over and over to the one thing he hates.

A young girl sitting in a pool of tears, wondering what she did to deserve the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of one who was supposed to love and protect her.

These are specific situations that cause pain, but there are so many more. Fill in the blank with your own… we all have a sad story, don’t we? Maybe we can’t identify specifically with one of these scenarios, but pain is bound to touch our lives. It’s a consequence of living in a fallen world.

David might not have been the one most acquainted with pain in Scripture, but he sure could express it better than anyone else, couldn’t he? Look at his groanings in Psalm 13:

 1 How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
         How long will You hide Your face from me?
 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
         Having sorrow in my heart daily?
         How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 
 3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God;
         Enlighten my eyes,
         Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
 4 Lest my enemy say,
         “I have prevailed against him”;
         Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

Talk about sorrow, and loss… and longing. Can you feel his pain? Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our distress that we feel God has abandoned us. Our attention is so focused on our situation that we fail to see our Savior in the midst of our trial. It is so easy to become consumed with our grief. It becomes so real and intense it could nearly swallow us.

But it doesn’t have to. Let’s finish David’s piercing Psalm:

 5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
         My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
 6 I will sing to the LORD,
         Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

How did David go from pangs of sorrow to praise? By remembering the Lord his God. The shepherd turned king remembered the ways God had been faithful to him in the past and chose to dwell on that. 

Friends, we need to take a cue from David and learn how to GLANCE at our circumstances, and GAZE at our God. If we could do that, then maybe… just maybe, we would be able to conjure up a song of praise from deep within, even when it seems our life is crashing down around us.

I have spent some serious time over the past two weeks with friends who are experiencing deep loss right now… searing pain that is beyond my comprehension. As I listened to this sweet song on the way home tonight, I thought about my dear sisters and prayed that they might rise from the ruins of what is going on in their lives right now, and find a way to rest in the Lord’s goodness and give Him praise, even sounded softly from a wounded heart. From a place of brokenness.

A broken hallelujah is beautiful music to His ears.

Broken Hallelujah
Mandisa

With my love and my sadness
I come before You Lord
My heart’s in a thousand pieces
Maybe even more
Yet I trust in this moment, You’re with me somehow
And You’ve always been faithful, so Lord, even now

When all that I can sing is a broken Hallelujah
When my only offering is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins
And I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah

Oh Father, You have given much more than I deserve
And I have felt Your hand of blessing on me at every turn
How could I doubt Your goodness, Your wisdom, Your grace
Oh Lord, hear my heart in this painful place

When all that I can sing is a broken Hallelujah
When my only offering is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins
And I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah (I lift my voice)
Hallelujah (Your spirit moves)
Hallelujah (I raise my hands)
Hallelujah (I reach for You)

‘Cause all that I can sing is a broken Hallelujah
And my only offering is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins
And I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

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Responses

  1. I love what you wrote, “GLANCE at our circumstances, and GAZE at our God”. That is definitely the key to rising from the ashes. Too often we/I get that backwards and the result is sitting in an ash heap. Hallelujah to my King!
    Blessings – Lisa

  2. Heather,

    I heard Dr. Charles Stanley say one time that this was the very reason to keep a journal (or a blog). Journalling our walk with the Lord gives us a resource to go back to in times of trial or distress and see where God was faithful to walk with us in the past.

    It is so true!!

    Leah

  3. As I am going through the fire I feel it is all about where I place my glance and allow it to be turned into a “gaze”, where I don’t remove my eyes from Him.

    Once again, a beautiful writing Sister.

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  4. What a beautiful song…

    One of the reasons I love reading Psalms is because of the encouragement I receive. David just puts into words all the feelings I have when I am in a dark place, and then shows the light just when it seems to bleak to be borne.

  5. I like that glance and gaze! You have such a beautiful heart, Heather!

  6. Heather, thank you so much for your sharing and the song ‘Broken Hallejah ‘is absolutely beautiful. The challenge of life can be quite over whelming and hanging on God’s promise is our reassurance.
    I can’t remember how and when i found your blog but I knew God must have known that i needed something to lift me up on that day.
    Thank you once again


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