Nearly four years ago, I walked into a room at a local church, signed my name to the roster, and sat down at an empty table. I didn’t know anyone, which was the way I preferred it to be. I didn’t even really want to be there, but deep down I knew I needed to be. DivorceCare class. It was one of those surreal moments you find yourself in and completely overwhelmed by. This was a class for other people. Surely not me.
I was still in a great deal of shock over what had transpired just weeks prior. As I sat at the table looking around at the weary, distraught faces around me, my eyes wandered to the whiteboard in the front of the room. The instructor had written a Bible verse on the board.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
I wasn’t sure how I had lived over 37 years of life not knowing that verse. Tears immediately began to fill my eyes, because if there ever was a description of me, this was it. Brokenhearted. Crushed in spirit.
That verse became very personal to me over the years. It not only brought me comfort, but it was a verse I often shared with others who were going through challenging times. And now recently, that passage has come back into the light and is one I cling to in the wake of my son’s death. But for a different reason now than before.
You see, while I had my Bible open to this very verse the other week, my eyes locked in on “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit”, as it had so many times. I closed my eyes and whispered, “God. I am so weary from being these things far too often.” And in the stillness, God whispered back, “This verse isn’t about you. Look what I am doing!” Huh? I opened my eyes and read with fresh eyes….
THE LORD IS NEAR. HE SAVES.
It was like being hit with a spiritual 2 x 4. This passage was not about my current emotional state, but about God and HIS action. HIS movement towards me. HIS love and desire to save me.
How many times times have we had the spotlight on ourselves and our suffering instead of what God is doing in the midst of it? If you’re anything like me, it’s far too often. Even when my heart is broken for those around me – and there are so many walking through the darkest of valleys- I tend to focus on their state of grief and sadness.
But, friends, let me encourage you today as much as I encourage myself with these words. We have a God who sees our broken hearts, our crushed spirits. And He doesn’t sit by idly. He moves closer. Our hearts are broken. There is no doubt of that. But that’s not the end of our story. God loves us so incredibly much that sent HIS Son to save us, so that by His grace, we will not have to live brokenhearted forever. Our hearts will be made whole again in the presence of our Savior. Eternally.
So do not read the words of the psalmist and weep. Read them and rejoice!
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”