Almost all of us, if not all of us, those we know and even those with whom we come into casual contact has experienced some form of trauma and brokenness within our lives. Trauma and brokenness is that state of emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual distress that results from living in a fallen, broken world ruined by sin. Trauma and the kind of brokenness that results from it is the fracturing of our being due in part to our own disobedient choices as well as the sinful choices of others that affect us. Traumatic brokenness may best summarize the report given to Nehemiah and recorded in the first few passages of the book that bears his name.
Nehemiah 1:1-3 (ESV) The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire."
Since Adam and Eve's rebellion against God, traumatic brokenness has characterized the human condition. Yet while it's always been a part of our society it seems that traumatic brokenness is becoming more and more widespread. At some point in our lives, all of us must begin to work through our traumatic brokenness. And for some of us, our trauma has been profound. One of the saddest aspects of the traumatic brokenness experienced by believers in our Lord Jesus Christ is that we rarely speak of it, how it affects our lives, and for that reason seem lost regarding how the redemption we have in Christ impacts it.
Thankfully there’s good news. We serve an infinitely wise, infinitely compassionate, and infinitely loving heavenly Father who invites us to allow Him into the crevices of our trauma for healing. Over 2400 hundred years ago He did the very same thing for the people He loved by sending a young man named Nehemiah whose name means YHWH has comforted to redeem, restore and rebuild His people so they could indeed rejoice in His loving grace.
For the next few weeks, we’ll hear God’s word from the book of Nehemiah as it points us to His healing from traumatic brokenness for His own glory and our overall good.