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Kerry Lytle

May 18, 2024

Psalm 34:18, New Living Translation

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

There’s such deep comfort when someone sees our pain and, even more, sits with us in it when they show up not just that first week, but for the long haul – through our complex emotions and hard questions. That's exactly what God does for us. He sees our pain and tells us we are not alone.


Psalm 34:18 says God is “near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV). This is a promise that reveals both who God is and what He does. It’s a promise we can count on when life falls apart, and we find ourselves navigating deep grief.


Grieving is a natural response to loss and sorrow. In the midst of our pain, we find comfort and peace in the assurance that God is near to the brokenhearted.


Maybe you have had your own shattering loss. Maybe it’s a heart-wrenching miscarriage or the unthinkable loss of your child. Maybe it’s a spouse you should have been able to trust who’s walked out. Or maybe it’s a diagnosis or even the loss of a dream that has changed life as you knew it – or wanted it. 


In that place of deep pain, we often ask: where is God? How do we know He is with us in it?


First, He sees our pain. God knows your circumstance, your losses, and your longings. He knows every sleepless night and every tear you have cried. “You have…put my tears in your bottle” (Psalm 56:8)


Second, God welcomes our pain. While we often try to stuff, escape, or even self-medicate our pain away, the only way to manage our hard emotions is to process through them. But the emotions of loss like loneliness, sadness, disappointment, regret, and anger are too much for us. Where do we take these emotions that overwhelm our mind, body, and soul? 


We can take every hard emotion to Jesus. While we may be uncomfortable with hard emotions, God is not. God who created us also created our emotions. When God created us fearfully and wonderfully, it included our emotions.


We don’t have to hide our pain or fake that we are fine. God tells us to come to him with our weariness and burdens, our pain and despair, our struggles and fear.


Lastly, God is our help in the valley. Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is a “very present help in trouble.” 


When we use the word "help," we often mean coming alongside to assist. But God’s help isn’t a little support while we continue to control the situation. God provides His divine help and it’s unlike anything we could ask or imagine. His wisdom, provision, rescue, and restoration are beyond what we can see and think.


When we experience loss, we turn to God in prayer, pouring out our hearts before him. He understands our pain, and in his tender compassion the Lord offers comfort and peace.


Grieving is a process that requires time and grace. We allow ourselves to mourn, knowing that God wipes every tear and holds us close to his heart.


In times of sorrow, we can draw strength from memories of the ones we have lost. Their legacy lives on through the impact they have had in our lives, and we can thank God for the ways He has blessed us through them.


As we walk through grief, we find hope in the resurrection and eternal life promised in Christ, our Savior.


Where is God in our pain? He is with us in it. Believers don’t get a pass from the hard valleys of suffering, but we do have the promise that God our Good Shepherd walks with us through them. 


Trusting in all of God’s promises, we hold on to the assurance that He will help us and make things work for His good and glory!

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