He heals the broken-hearted
and binds up their sorrows.
Nothing is more devastating than being betrayed by an intimate friend.
Someone who knows all our secrets.
Someone who shares the same friends and church.
Maybe it is something small, like your private business running through all those circles. You confided a prayer request to a friend over coffee one morning, only to discover that the entire ball park knows about it before you arrive that afternoon. Maybe a friend at work turned out to be an enemy in sheep’s clothing, who took all your work as her own and received your credit and promotion. Or maybe you walked into to work and were the object of razor-tongued women who had chosen you for their “rip-up” target of the day. Perhaps you have experienced a husband running away, or the double whammy of a husband and a friend running off together.
Sometimes life can become so difficult that our faith is shaken and pulled to the point that we wonder if we have the faith to get up and face another day! The pain that comes from such a loss is followed by the mental ruminations that can torment us until our last breath if we don’t deal with them. We hold on to so much in our hearts and in our minds.
Yes, it is part of the consequences God handed down to Eve. She wanted to know what God knew. In learning that, she was also allowed to know the heart of God. She learned, as do all women, the sorrow of a broken heart.
In Genesis 3:14 God says to Eve, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Notice that there was no curse. God did not curse His children, but as any good parent, He handed down consequences that fit the heinous sin of rebellion.
The Lord God said that the pain of childbirth would increase, so there must have been a measure of pain from the start. The word pain occurs twice in the sentence. The first time, the Hebrew word is itstsabown, physical pain, and it can also be translated as sorrow, labor, or labor in childbirth. It is the same word God uses for Adam as he worked the land that was now cursed.
Etseb is the second word for pain. It is a thing shaped or formed, an earthen vessel, labor, toil, trouble, grievance. Matthew Henry Commentary calls this pain a state of sorrow. According to Webster’s College Dictionary, sorrow means mental suffering caused by loss, disappointment, grief, sadness, or regret. So there is not only physical pain associated with childbirth; there is also emotional pain with forming these earthen vessels in the way they should go. Even though raising children causes sorrow, those children are also a source of great joy. We laugh with them as well as cry with them, and we rejoice in their victories as though they were our own.
We live in a fallen world. We all face the consequences of sin, but remember that we have not been left alone. Jesus sent us His Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us through all the sorrow, fears, and tears. Jesus knows it’s hard on this side of heaven, and He stays near to help us in our struggle.
His goal is not for us to struggle, but through the struggle to enable our faith to grow, and our relationship to grow, into oneness with Him.
Trust Jesus to be all that you need in the crisis that you find yourself in today. Trust is faith activated across time.