BEST hallelujahs are mottled through with the sting of a suffering of regret, a most truth-filled acceptance, for having fallen short of the Lord.
That is the best hallelujah (‘praise the Lord’).
This is why that is the best hallelujah. Until a Christian has sincerely fallen on their knees, vanquished of all their pride, with no defence for who they are, and all the wrong they’ve done, they don’t deserve grace. Unless we’re been broken, we’ve not paid the full price for that costly grace expended for us at Calvary.
A broken hallelujah should be an oxymoron. How should we praise God when we’re broken beyond our own comprehension?
The Character of a Broken Hallelujah
The broken hallelujah is a praising of the Lord in a circumstance antithetical to praise. This is why it’s the most compelling hallelujah. It’s a hallelujah where there should be, and often has been, lament.
It’s compelling because we’ve been brought to a place where brokenness has taken us no further than the cross. To the cross we’ve stayed… and stayed long enough to know that everything begins from the cross — at the end of ourselves is the only appropriate beginning.
Most Christians haven’t spent the sort of time at the cross to be broken down sufficiently; to know the inner realities of the Father’s love and Christ’s intercessory magnanimity. To know these things, powerfully and inwardly, we need to stay at the cross, and return regularly; to be broken afresh; that is to come back to the precious moments we were broken initially, remembering them intimately well.
A broken hallelujah is a praising of the Lord at the depths of the pit. Any Christian who hasn’t experienced that level of fully rendered sacrifice ought to pray for the humility for that level of submission. That can sound harsh, and it probably is. In reality, our broken hallelujahs are uttered with fortitude during a time of reprieve, immediately after a significant attack of despair. During that chastening of our spirit, as we flop forlorn at the foot of the cross, we’ve got little fortitude left for anything else but survival. Afterward, though, we’re ready to recommit to the spiritual task at hand, and that, itself, is a broken hallelujah.
So the character of a broken hallelujah is humble certitude.
The Maturity Borne of a Broken Hallelujah
Broken hallelujahs are a sign of the capacity to choose for God no matter how bad life gets.
A broken hallelujah is therefore inspiring. It’s the doing of a noble thing in great distress, and, even though that can never be easy, we only have to do it once, and we can do it evermore. And still the more we do it, the more routine a supposed hard thing is to do.
Not only is a broken hallelujah something requiring astounding maturity, to live as broken is to live as one who is whole; who’s mature.
We’re not ashamed of our brokenness, we who sing our hallelujahs in the memory of our pain. We’re not disempowered to praise God, we who know that submission to him is the only way. We’re not hoodwinked; we know God is good in the good times and in bad. We’re not afraid of praising God having learned our fear has been found wanting.
The maturity borne of a broken hallelujah will hold us together as the faithful all our days. Nothing else would we ever need. Zilch.
When we’re able to sing our solemn broken hallelujahs, finally we’re able to please God.
The most inspiring hallelujah is a hallelujah bellowed in brokenness.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.