God is so good and this verse is one of the many that proves it.
As I read this to my daughter during our morning devotional, He reassured us of His love and presence. He IS close, in our very midst.
He also reminded me of Daddy.
It was my first heart break. My first REAL boyfriend had dumped me. I was 13 and in the eighth grade. The loss of this boy’s affection was the most devastating blow of rejection I had been dealt.
Why didn’t he like me? Was I not pretty enough? Was I not funny enough? Was it my hair or my clothes or my smile?
It was actually none of those things but to me, I was the problem. I wasn’t enough for him.
I cried rivers. Felt it in my gut, that knot of nausea tangled with despair. In true Drama-Queen-Scarlett-O’Hara fashion, I flung myself across the bed. My life was over.
As I lay crying on that 90’s-style red metal bed, I felt someone beside me. A strong, warm hand gently patted my back.
He moved my long hair away from my face and lovingly stroked it down my back. As I turned to see his face I noticed tears in his eyes, too.
He was there. Near me. Close to my broken heart.
Such a soft lens moment in my mind. I don’t remember him saying a word, I just remember he was there. I remember feeling comforted. Loved. Important. No doubt he had much bigger things on his plate. And I’m quite sure the Daddy in him was glad to see “that hairy-legged boy” go. But still, he was there. His Baby Girl was hurt.
God loves us Just. Like. That.
He is close to us when we feel alone; sings over us when we sob. He not only sees our tears, He catches them in a bottle. They are that precious to Him. He feels our hurt, that gnawing ache that won’t quit, and He soothes it with His touch.
Our High Priest has felt every pain, every emotion, every longing of humanity. He knows exactly how to comfort us.
I’m guessing that’s how Daddy knew to comfort me. He had been rejected before. He had been sad. He had been hurt.
“The Lord is close to the broken hearted…” Is your heart broken today? Do you want to fling yourself across a bed and cry a river? There are still days (like yesterday) I do just that. Doesn’t change my situation but it certainly changes my heart.
Those moments are humbling. As I recognize my lack of control–over my own feelings even– I have no choice but to cry for help.
Those are the moments I feel God’s presence the strongest, like big arms wrapped around me, and I’m comforted. I understand how those who mourn can be called blessed.
Those moments also prove the truth of this verse. It is no longer a hope but a fact. When I feel crushed beneath the weight of this burden, He rescues me. Every time.
Our Wonderful Counselor knows the best treatment for our sorrow, anxiety, anger and stress. Let us go to Him with our troubles, cast all our cares on Him and wait for Him to come lay beside us.
Today I pray this verse not only over my hurt, but also over my children. I pray they know He is close to them when they are sad because I am close to them when they are sad. When their world crumbles, may my faithfulness to hold them be proof of Him.
Just like Daddy was for me.
“You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” ~Psalm 56:8