October 11, 2017
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (NLT)
I thought they were dead for sure.
Twenty years ago, I planted four gardenia bushes against the back wall of my house, because I’d always loved the dainty, white petals and their sweet, clean fragrance. But I never imagined those tiny bushes would one day be bigger around than my arms could stretch and stand as tall as I am. And I definitely never imagined that every spring and summer we’d be blessed with hundreds of gardenia flowers for weeks.
Eventually, my children learned to share my excitement each April when tiny little buds would begin peeking out amongst the lush green leaves. Then we’d anxiously await May and June when all four bushes would explode with beautiful white blossoms. I’d cut blossoms off the bushes and tuck them into a vase on my kitchen table, enjoying the scent which permeated my home.
But then, it happened.
Last year, I hired someone to trim the bushes due to their enormous size. A few months later when they looked like stacks of scraggly sticks, I became worried. Then this past spring, my fears became reality. It was then I learned it hadn’t been the right time of year for trimming bushes.
April rolled around. No gardenias. Then May. No gardenias. When June came and went and still no gardenias, I gave up hope, certain they were dead forever. Never to thrive or be beautiful again. Heavy sigh. Sniff.
But lo and behold, in July, one gorgeous little bloom suddenly popped out. I was so excited I took a picture and texted my kids, then I plucked that one little fragrant flower and put it into a tiny vase. Over the next week, more buds appeared, and within weeks, each bush had several blossoms.
My daughter Kaitlyn, who shared my justified despair over our beloved flower bushes, came home and saw the scattered blooms tucked in the sparse foliage. Her face lit up, and she excitedly exclaimed, “See Mom! I told you they weren’t dead. They just needed time to recover and heal.”
I stopped and thought about that simple, yet profound, statement. And a smile crept across my face. As I walked back into the house holding my little bouquet of freshly cut gardenias, today’s key verse, Psalm 147:3, came to mind: “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
In this verse, we’re reminded that even when we feel alone in our brokenness, we’re not alone at all. God is always with those who are hurting, and He sees their broken hearts. Then the verse says He “bandages” their wounds. It takes time for wounds to heal, especially emotional ones, but it also takes the intervention of a Savior who will tenderly nurse our wounds until healing has taken place.
Over the past several years, my heart has been broken in ways I didn’t know it could break. For many months, I thought I would never feel alive, thriving or beautiful ever again. Although my heart is not completely healed yet, God has been close by my side during the journey to recovery, and I know that without Him, no amount of time could heal the wounds only He can see. But now, my heart’s slowly begun to blossom again, much like my gardenia bushes as they struggle to bloom again.
Maybe today you’re wondering if your heart can ever heal from hurts, circumstances or losses inflicted. If so, allow yourself to believe God sees you, hears you and loves you. He knows you can’t do it on your own, and He wants you to know He is there to help you begin feeling alive, thriving and beautiful again, too.
Anytime we’re wounded, it takes time to recover and heal. Our bodies heal on their own because that’s the way we were created, but when our hearts are broken, it takes much more than time — it takes Jesus.
Lord, please heal my broken heart. Fill me with the peace and joy I know can only come from You during this hard time. Walk closely beside me during my journey to healing and recovery that I know is possible through Your power alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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If you’re struggling with a broken heart and longing to feel alive and thrive again, Tracie Miles’ newest book, Unsinkable Faith, is a great tool to help you in your journey toward emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
Visit Tracie’s blog to see a picture of her gardenia bushes and for tips on how to jump-start your journey toward emotional healing.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How can you change your thinking today about a situation that’s broken your heart?
How might putting your hope in God and believing He is bandaging your wounds help your heart begin to blossom again?
Say or write a prayer of commitment to trust God is by your side when you’re hurting. Invite Him into the journey toward healing your broken heart.
© 2017 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.