According to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) an emotionally broken heart has the potential to physically damage a person’s heart.
Though the condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is rare, it is potentially fatal and is found most often in women. Researchers from Harvard stated that 90% of the cases involved women between the ages of 58 to 75.
The research team from MGH stated that TTS occurs when a person undergoes a stressful event that results in increased activity in a person’s amygdala, an organ located on either side of our cerebrum that controls our memory and emotions.
This in turn can cause increased activity in a person’s heart that can actually cause physical damage resulting in what is referred to as a “broken-hearted syndrome.
According to the researchers, there are several things that can lead to this condition including such stress producing factors as:
- Death of a child or spouse
- Death of a pet
- Divorce or break up
- Job loss
Unfortunately, these type of events are a part of real life. God knows this and desires to bring emotional healing when we experience these types of traumas.
In Isaiah 61:1, we read that an important part of Jesus’ ministry included healing those with a broken heart:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners; (Isaiah 61:1 NASV)
This is not talking about a physical problem but rather emotional stress. The Hebrew word for broken-hearted is a compound word made up of ‘nisbre’ that refers to broken or crushed and ‘leb’ that refers to the inner man or heart.
This verse was referring to emotional trauma, and we read that the Holy Spirit literally wants to bandage our damaged emotions and protect us, so we can heal.
Jesus referred to this verse in Isaiah when the Lord explained His ministry and calling (Luke 4:18). Though the Gospel writers often talked about the several times that Christ physically healed people, emotional healing was also a big part of Christ’s ministry.
As the researchers noted, there were two basic causes of a broken heart, the stress surrounding the loss of a loved one and rejection.
We see Jesus accepting those who had been rejected in Jewish society. It happened when the Lord received the offering of a prostitute who poured expensive perfume over His head (Matthew 26:6) and as well, when Jesus actually touched and healed the lepers who were driven out of communities and forced to live alone (Mathew 8:3).
And we know from Isaiah 53:2-3, that Jesus suffered rejection in multiple areas of His life. The Lord understood what it felt like.
He suffered rejection as a child. Isaiah describes the Lord as a tender shoot growing out of parched ground, suggesting Jesus grew up in life of poverty.
He was not part of the cool crowd because Isaiah describes the Messiah as having no stately form that we should be attracted to him. He did not have the Hollywood good looks that gathered a crowd.
Isaiah further adds that Jesus was despised and forsaken by men. The word despised meant they did not value him. As far as people were concerned, Jesus would never amount to anything. Forsaken tells us that the Lord was considered lower caste, literally of lesser value.
We are also told in this passage that people hid their faces from Him, in other words people were embarrassed by Jesus and purposefully tried to avoid Him.
Jesus experienced rejection in every area of his life and died on the cross to bring healing to our rejection.
The first step often involves putting on a bandage called forgiveness, forgiving those who have rejected you. The cross demonstrated the ultimate rejection of Christ’s ministry and from the cross Jesus cried out “Father forgive them, for they don’t know that they are doing” (Luke 23:34).