I used to think “brokenhearted” would never happen to me. I had enough high school breakups (only a few, but still enough!) and dramatic fall outs with “friends” growing up to know that one ought to be rather particular about the sort of people you allow yourself to become very close with. “Brokenhearted” only happens to the extremely boy-crazy or ultra-sensitive, right? Ehhh…wrong.
Care about any human being in the world (yourself included!), and you are liable to become brokenhearted at some point or another. What’s more, the Lord calls us to love one another, which leaves us wide open to heart injuries of the deepest, most painful variety.
But – there is sacred balm for this heartache, healing ointment for this crushing discouragement.
Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
We know the Lord is always with us, but in some magnificent and mysterious way, he is near to us in a special way when our hearts are broken. When a close friend betrays you. When your child is living in grievous sin and rebellion. When your spouse is distant, aloof, absent. When a lifelong dream slips away. When the heaviness of your heart distracts, exhausts you. When you can’t remember what joy, community, and hope feel like. When your grief overwhelms you and it seems not a soul could care.
Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “Broken hearts think God far away, when he is really most near them…” When you most need him, he is near (Merriam-Webster: “in close or intimate manner”). If you are brokenhearted or crushed in spirit, our tender-hearted Savior is especially sensitive to you. He is close. Don’t believe the lie that He is absent, or unconcerned. He is in tune with your heart, and when you are brokenhearted, know that He is near to you.
As we cry out to God, we know He is able to heal our broken relationships and remedy any problem we face, but even if he chooses not to, there is great comfort in him. In the Psalms, we also hear proclaimed, “How good it is to be near God!” (Psalm 73:28) It is good to be near God! In a great, mysterious and miraculous way, the Lord works good for us out of our brokenness as it draws us near to Him. C.S. Lewis says that in the Psalms (and to David), God is the “all-satisfying Object.” He himself, his nearness, his presence, is balm for broken hearts.
Celebrate the presence today of the dearest, most intimate Friend of your Soul. When your heart is broken, when your spirit utterly crushed, in that moment when you need him most – He is near.
Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him; to all who call upon Him in truth.”