“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10 NIV).

I owned a house a few years ago that included a workshop with a storage area. I put valuable things in it that I didn’t use daily but still needed or wanted. One day after a storm, I noticed that the door had broken off the hinges. I propped it up to temporarily cover the entrance, intending to have it repaired later that week. But life resumed, and I forgot about it for months.

When I finally went to retrieve something from the workshop, I found a mess. Rain, humidity, and darkness had attracted all kinds of bugs. Mold covered the walls. Animal waste and filth covered the floor, and things were missing.

I repaired the door, threw out the visibly damaged contents, and carried on with life…only to find a few weeks later that the mold and bugs had returned. I threw out more things, then deep-cleaned and restored the whole building.

My heart needed a similar restoration. My 15-year marriage that had produced four children had ended, and my heart was broken. In my pain, I’d put a temporary Band-Aid on it and kept going with life, but darkness had crept in little by little. I had compromised, and that had created a mold-infested environment within me that was inviting to the creatures and habits of darkness.

Depression and anxiety opened the door to unhealthy friendships and ungodly relationships in my social and business life. People stole from me, slandered my character, used my resources for personal gain, and eventually targeted my children with the deception that no one cared about us.

Darkness prevailed so much that I could no longer see God’s light. I felt alone, and that loneliness caused me to embrace things I wouldn’t have, had I been whole. My emotions also caused me to hurt others.

But God had not forgotten me, and when I cried out to Him, he “re-membered” me. He got inside my heart and hauled away the mess. He put me back together and made me whole again. Just as 1 Peter 5:10 promises, Christ Himself restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established me.

Sure, the mold of the world still tries to creep back in, just like it did in my workshop. But as I allow God’s Word to renew my mind with His truth, I can keep it from taking root.

Has your heart been broken or shattered? Has it been exposed to darkness? It’s time to give your heart to God, the Restorer. Just as I couldn’t put up a temporary door on my workshop and go on with my life, you can’t avoid tending to your heart either. It needs attention, so darkness won’t creep in and overtake you.

Let God heal your heart. If you don’t know how to do that, get to a local Bible-believing church and ask for help. Get in His Word, too, and let His Spirit teach you.

Here is a prayer you can pray: ”God, my heart has been broken, and it needs to be cleaned and restored. I have been trying to fix it on my own, to no avail. Please create a hunger for Your Word within me, restore my mind, and make my heart whole again. I know that You are the only One who can do that. Please help me to be slow to anger, quick to forgive, and quick to repent. Thank You for healing every broken place in me. Amen.”