Day 17

The Sacrifices of God

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan


Lamentations 2:12-22, Psalm 51:15-19

BY Guest Writer


Text: Lamentations 2:12-22, Psalm 51:15-19

Among the many traits the girls in my family have acquired from their mama (enormously wild hair and enthusiastic thesaurus-reading not to be forgotten), is that fact that we possess some pretty sensitive souls. I mean, we feel all the feels. My mom likes to tell the story of how, at age four, I completely lost it because my dad gave me a goodnight kiss and did not equally place both his lips on top of both of my lips. I’m still reeling from the rejection. What that means in my current household, though, is that during any watching of children’s movies, insurance advertisements or yes, even game shows, my finger must be constantly poised on the remote control so I can power “off” when the offending purple minion, car accident dramatization or embarrassingly wrong Final Jeopardy response comes on screen.

Admittedly, when I read through these very dark, very sorrowful passages in Lamentations, I wish I had my finger on the remote control and could power “off.” The destruction, the groans, the torment—it is unbearable. And the author, once a matter-of-fact eyewitness, is tortured, his heart pouring out on the ground because of the devastation God has inflicted against a sinful people (Lamentations 2:11). In other words, he gives new meaning to “feeling all the feels.”

But isn’t that the point? How can we truly experience real repentance without sorrow?

God wants nothing less than broken spirits and contrite hearts when we come before Him for His forgiveness. Any ritualistic sacrifices, any well-crafted prayers, any flowery pleas for mercy—without being genuinely crushed by the true tragedy of our sins—are utterly and totally meaningless. God wants only your authentic expressions of repentance, no thesauruses required.

God doesn’t want us to just be “bummed out” by the consequences of sin in our lives and our world, He wants us to know what true, godly sorrow looks and feels like. He wants our hearts to break like His, and for us to gather up those messy hearts and bring them before Him laid bare, without pretentiously tying them up in a neat little package.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…” (Psalm 51:17).  Nothing more. Nothing less.

My remote-control strategy of parenting has backfired into sleepless nights a time or two, with those last-seen images burning into little minds and re-entering them, unfortunately, right at bedtime. I quickly learned that I had to, somehow, help my children get through the hard parts of the narrative if they were ever going to see and appreciate how the story ends. I don’t want them to miss it.

We have a Father who loves each and every one of His children enough to break our hearts, so that our own story never actually ends at all, but lives on with Him for Eternity. Even though it costs us the anguish of standing in the midst of the ugly destruction of our own sin, it cost our God far more—the sacrifice of His own precious Son. He will bring beauty from the ashes—and more than anything, He doesn’t want you to miss it.

Sarah Matheny is an ever-growing, ever-changing gal, laughing and living in the Pacific Northwest. One-time attorney, food blogger, and author, all-the-time wife and mom to three wild-eyed, spunky girly girls, she’s passionate about her family, her friends and growing in her walk with Christ as He dishes up an always unpredictable, but totally delicious life.

 

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Post Comments (112)

112 thoughts on "The Sacrifices of God"

  1. Steph says:

    God desires us! He desires relationship! The same way a kid just doesn’t want the best birthday gift from his dad if his dad isn’t there for his birthday. There can be no love without relationship! Thank you God for desiring relationship with us when we have behaved like prostitutes and broke what you so beautifully designed. Thank you!

  2. Regina Marie says:

    Sometimes we can’t escape the sorrow…we have to learn from it. We have to humble ourselves enough to come to the Lord bare and broken, desperate for His love to fill us back up again. Humble my heart Jesus, so my pride doesn’t keep me from running to you. <3

  3. Holly Marie says:

    Goodness me – I read and I feel but I know that’s not enough. I type here before I pray this realisation to the Lord and I know that’s not right! Do any of us honestly see the true devastation that happened in the Bible. I personally am truly and overwhelmingly blessed and shame on me for being blind to that and being over sensitive thinking life is such a challenge. Praise God for the life he has given me, Praise God for the Grace he pours over me and the mercy he never withholds x

  4. Georgie Mallins says:

    Psalm 51 in the Message version gets me every time!!
    Psalm 51:16-17 MSG

    Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
    Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

    Heart shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape Gods notice.
    I love that! it brings my heart such peace!!

    1. Aubrey says:

      I love this! Thank you for sharing!

    2. Regina Marie says:

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Kate says:

    Wow, I completely relate to the sensitivity mentioned in this post. It's sometimes hard to know what to do with it. But the brokenness I experience more easily than others does draw me closer to God. It makes me more aware of the sin of the world, but also of God's goodness by contrast.

  6. loveHimso says:

    God wants nothing less than broken spirits and contrite hearts when we come before Him for His forgiveness….When we come before the Father with broken spirits and soften hearts we can rest assured that unlike any other relationship on earth that we can trust Him with our hearts. He breaks our hearts only to fill it with Him.

  7. Beth Warner says:

    Thank you for this. I truly pray to “feel all the feels”. To have a broken and contrite heart,,, I get it now! Thank you so much.

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