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

Can you imagine the excitement David must have felt when he was called down from the mountain to meet with the great prophet Samuel? Add to that the stunning announcement that someday, he, David, a mere shepherd boy would be King of Israel? Amazing!

He couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17 at the time. Life was ahead of him and even though he must have loved the shepherding and farming life his father instilled in him, the intrigue of the city and fame and fortune had to have had the same allure then as it does now. I imagine David walked just a little taller among the sheep when he returned to his post in the fields.

Then add in the whole incident with that giant, Goliath. There are lots of reasons stated out there for why David slew Goliath; the precision of his shot, the trust in God, Goliath not taking him (or his God) seriously. But I think there was probably a good measure of adrenaline behind that stone that day. After all, he was David, the future King!

But then life came crashing down for David. Psalm 34 was written when he ‘escaped’ from his own homeland to enemy territory. The very Philistines that produced Goliath; the very nation he hated so much; the one place in the world he would never want to find himself, became his sanctuary.

The once proud, confident David became an actor, pretending to be a lunatic in enemy territory so he’d be protected from Saul, and pitied by the Philistines. I can’t help but imagine the despondency, the fear, the disappointment in his heart.

Have you been there? Have you found yourself in a place you never thought you’d be in? Dealing with guilt for an affair you never thought you’d put yourself in? Struggling with credit card debt and other financial woes that you vowed you’d never get your family into…again? Struggling with the pain of broken relationships or failing health?

David likens it to a crushed spirit. The original languages give the word picture of being smashed by a hammer. Obliterated. Destroyed. Nothing left that resembles your heart. No use picking up the pieces. They are to shattered, to broken, to be of any value.

But listen to David’s words. God comes close to those who are broken. As an omnipresent God, he is always near of course. But during those times of grief; during those times when life is beyond disappointing, it’s dreadfully painful, your Heavenly Father, the God of the universe, bends low to hear your cry; to feel your pain; to comfort you.

Life doesn’t always take us where we thought we’d be, but it never takes us away from a God who is passionately in love with you.

PRAYER: Father God, I pray today for those who are hurting; for those who’s hearts have been smashed by the hammer of life. May they sense your presence and feel your comforting love. Amen.

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