“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” – Ps. 34:19

The Lord is close to me when I am in pain. The Lord is close to me in my suffering, grief, toil, stress, anger, all the ways my heart is broken.  

When our hearts are broken, they are left painfully open and vulnerable. I have a habit of trying to “fill” and “fix” mine myself, forgetting that there is nothing I can do to satisfy the darkness. I become consumed in self-preoccupations and listen to my own negative thoughts instead of the promise of the one who has drawn near – the one who longs to pour Himself into our hearts if we let Him. If He is near the brokenhearted, then He has drawn near to me so many times and will do so again! What a powerful promise of hope.    

This Lenten season has been inviting me to deepen my gratitude to God by accepting periods of darkness in my life as gifts. Challenging me to savor them as times where the Lord was drawing close, despite my reluctance to accept Him into my brokenness. This Psalm strikes me as a love letter to wounded hearts and encouragement for times graced with comfort and healing to savor the beauty and meaning found in suffering.

Imagine seeing pain through the loving gaze of a God that draws nearest to us when we struggle. I marvel at the idea that it is when our heart is broken open that we have the difficult and beautiful opportunity to let God fill it and work through it.

How do we invite God into our brokenness, and what would it look like if we allowed Him to work through our heartache, pain and longing?

Liana Merrill

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