“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
It has always been my life goal to not end up brokenhearted, whether that be by a guy, friend, family member, pastor, or any person really. It’s a pretty reasonable goal to have—I don’t want to be hurt, and no one with a soul wants to be hurt. It is the reason why we put up walls, lie about how we are truly feeling, and have such a hard time trusting one another. We as humans know what we are capable of. We know the damage that we can inflict upon one another, and it scares us. Unfortunately, this ‘barely alive’ feeling that David is talking about, is inevitable. I am truly blessed to say that I haven’t felt this way many times in my life. I have faced hardships for sure, but I think my life has been filled with greater joys, rather than pain. However, I do know this crushed feeling. I remember when my dad lost his job. A lot of people knew about it, my friends definitely knew about it, but no one really knew all that was going on in my heart. It didn’t matter how many people surrounded me, I always felt alone. By God’s provision, I was able to continue dancing as many days a week that I wanted to. It was in those moments, when my dance teacher would turn off all of the lights and just let us dance, that I stopped wrestling and started to let the Lord hold me. By the end of the night, I would usually end up in a ball of tears, but I felt held, I felt heard, and I felt loved. As inevitable as these heart breaking moments are, they are not a cause for lost hope. No, there is always hope, and my hope just so happened to come in the form of a baby, born in an evil, soul piercing world that He did not deserve to live in. Jesus, God in the flesh, came into this world because He wanted to save me, and not just save me, but know me—my pains, my joys, my bone crushing moments. But His bones were actually crushed, and His heart actually broke, because we all betrayed Him, forsake Him, and crucified Him. You see, we tend to feel alone on a daily basis, but we will never know true loneliness like Jesus did. God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that is a promise I claim with an iron fist, but Jesus didn’t have that promise, He was forsaken by His own Father, if for but a moment. I will never know that kind of pain and separation, but I know that He will always know and feel the same hurt I experience every single day. My brother, Jonah, reminded me of this in a letter He wrote to me about a month into Kenya. This is what he told me: “Psalm 34:17-18 talks about how the Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed. David uses the word ‘contrite’ here, which speaks about being pulverized and ground into dust—it is an adjective describing complete destruction—and it is a feeling that all of us have suffered within one way or another. But what’s rad about this verse, is that there is another place in the old testament that uses this word for crushed—and it’s found in Isaiah. Isaiah writes about one who was “bruised for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities…” This is the same crushed used in Psalm 34. Jesus knows your pain, and he understands the trials you are going through; so know this, when everything has gone awry, and you’re laying face first in the mud, don’t be afraid. He, Jesus, the Lord, your comforter, understands what you’re going though, and He is right there beside you. So don't give up sister, hope in Him.” My cry reaches beyond the temple, even into His ears (Psalm 18:8), and “He will surely be gracious to me at the sound of my cry. As soon as He hears it, He answers me” (Isaiah 30:19). My God is not far off; He will never abandon me to the dust. His ears are attentive to my voice, and He desires to be near to me, carrying these dry bones if need be. He will never stop saving me. I am not alone.
Application: I will text my brother, and thank him for the letter he sent me, and for encouraging me to hope in God.