The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

     Jesus, I’m increasingly grateful for all the reasons the Father sent you into the world.  I’m so thankful you came to set us free from our imprisonment to sin and death, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. In the gospel, we hear you joyfully singing these words over us… “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Rom. 8:1).  Not only is there no condemnation, there is full acceptance and great delight.

     When I look at the country of Haiti and our local community called Hard Bargain, I’m so thankful that you came to preach good news to the poor—not just good news concerning spiritual poverty, but also the good news of a kingdom which provides food for the hungry… clean water for the thirsty… shelter for the homeless… advocacy for the marginalized… family for the orphan.

     When I look at systemic evil in the world—human trafficking, the pornography industry, the idolatry of greed, an ideology of terror … to name a few—I’m profoundly thankful that you’ve also come to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God. There’s no greater champion of justice than you, Lord Jesus. One Day, all the pillaging weeds of unrighteousness will be replaced with mighty oaks of righteousness—“a planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendor” (Isa. 61:3).

     But today, Jesus, this very morning, I’m especially thankful that you’re close to the brokenhearted and that you save those who are crushed in spirit. For friends who just experienced a third miscarriage. For a sister whose diagnosis brought those dreaded words, “It’s malignant.” The tears over a broken engagement… the anger over a molested child… the “undone-ness” of having to move a fourth time in six years… Thank you for not despising our weakness and weariness. Thank you for not disappearing or abandoning us.

     Jesus, no one understands our wails and wounds like you. No one was broken in heart and body like you… no one was crushed in spirit like you… and you did it all for us. In the mystery and in this moment, I praise you that you will comfort all who mourn and you will provide for those who grieve.

     O for the Day when we will forever be done with a spirit of despair and will only wear the garment of praise. So very Amen, I pray, in your kind-hearted ever-present name.

 

By Scotty Smith. Originally posted on Scotty's blog Heavenward on 10.26.10.

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