October 27, 2004 
Encouragement for Today

A Lesson on Love - From an Oreo
A Member of the Speaker Team

Key verse:

...the has sent me to heal the broken hearted and to announce that captives shall be released... Luke 4:18 (TLB)


Devotion:

It was a normal lunchtime for my children and me - another day of peanut butter sandwiches, chips and apples.  Everyone had eaten all of his or her lunch and at our house this means, "Treat time."  A "treat" in our house is usually our family favorite, Oreo cookies.

Eating an Oreo is an individual art.  Some dunk the cookie in milk; some eat it all at once while others take the cookie apart to eat each side separately.  I have perfected my own way of eating these mouth-watering morsels.  I twist the cookies apart and scrape the crème filling off with my teeth which leaves me with my favorite part of the cookie, the wafer.  Now eating the wafer is almost sacred to me.  I never want to be interrupted, delightfully savoring each bite.  I slowly eat each wafer, careful not to break either one.  (Somehow, the experience is not the same if a wafer gets broken.) 

Without my knowledge, my children have begun to eat their Oreos the same way.  I never noticed their ability to scrape the crème without breaking the wafer.  (It must be in the genes.)  On this particular day, I watched my three-year-old son as he finished his last wafer at the very same time I was finishing mine.  Then it happened: his wafer broke.  It was heartbreaking to him and because I had broken wafers before, I knew just how he felt.  He brought his broken wafer to me and as I looked at my whole wafer, I gladly exchanged it with him.

In that moment, God reminded me of His love for us.  His desire is to take the broken pieces of our lives and exchange them for His wholeness. He doesn't want us to wait and come to when we are whole or when we think we are whole.  He wants us to come just as we are.  Luke 4:18 (TLB) tell us that He came to heal the broken hearted.  This scripture is quoted from Isaiah 61:1 where the word "bind" is used instead of "heal".  In the original Hebrew the word "bind" means to wrap firmly, govern, heal, or wrap about.

Won't you take the broken pieces of your heart to the Healer and let Him wrap His arms firmly around you today?  He loves you and came to give you abundant life. (John 10:10)  You cannot experience the abundant life until you give your brokenness over to the only one who can make you whole.  His name is Jesus.


My prayer for today:

Father, thank you for coming to set me free.  Forgive me for experimenting with other ways to find freedom and for trying to heal myself.  I have ideas of how I think you should handle things and have a tendency to help you, forgetting that you do not need help being God.  I give you today my shattered dreams, my hurt feelings, and broken heart.  I ask you to wrap your arms around me and govern my life.


Application steps

Write down three areas of brokenness in your life.

Pray the "I give you today" part of the prayer again over these broken areas of your life. 
Then throw the paper away.

Tell God you will not try to fix those areas again and that you will wait on His best for your life.


Reflection points
 
Do I have any areas of unforgiveness in my heart?

To whom do I run when I am hurting and why?

Do I really trust God to mend the brokenness of my life? Why or why not?


Power verses

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NASB)

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden.  Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.  Isaiah 51:3 (NASB)

...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be call oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)


Additional resources

Dreams of a Woman by Sharon Jaynes
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/dreamswoman.html

Coming out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/outofdark.html