Many of the people I’m close to are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain right now.
- One of my closest friends is looking for a new job. It’s hard because several of the potential opportunities he’s exploring are in another state. He’s trusting that God is leading him where he’s supposed to go, but the thought of uprooting his family pains him, particularly as it would affect his young elementary-age daughter.
- Another of my best friends is going through a divorce right now. We talk a couple of times a week and he’s absolutely heartbroken. I hate it for him; he’s one of the best men I’ve ever known.
- Another family I know is coming up on an especially painful anniversary this week as they remember a loved one they’ve lost. These kinds of anniversaries are so difficult, especially the first one. These special people will be heavy on my heart this week.
And honestly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things that weigh heavily on my heart: friends dealing with emotional pain; family members continuing to battle with grief; loved ones beset by anguish and turmoil.
It seems there’s just no shortage of broken hearts these days.
I don’t think our hearts are easily broken because we’re wimps or crybabies or weaklings, at least most of us aren’t.
I think our hearts are easily broken because our world can be a hard, cruel place at times. Hearts are easily broken in a broken world.
Thankfully, there’s a word from God for our broken hearts:
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted… (Ps. 34:18)
Here’s the first thing I love about this verse: it acknowledges the condition of broken-heartedness. Have you ever had your heart broken? The worst thing in the world is to be made to think that your pain isn’t real, that there’s somehow something wrong with you because you hurt. But this word from God articulates it flat out: your heart is broken. Let’s name it what it is. Rather than guilting us for not having our stuff all together, God says, “I get it. Your heart is hurting.” And I find that incredibly validating.
And here’s what else I love: the promise of God-presence. God present in our pain. God coming near to set our wounds, to bind up our injuries. The One who reconciles our broken world, piecing it together and “setting it to rights” despite all its savagery and corruption…this same One now comes near to reconcile our broken hearts, to mend our grief-stricken souls. Again, God says, “I am here. I have come near.”
If you are broken-hearted tonight, hear this word from the One that calls you by name.
He is near.