18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. - Psalm 34:18-19
Our verse this week sums up the compassion of the LORD: He is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Who better to go to when we are in need?
As people, we have a deep tendency to turn to people for our comfort when we’re hurting. Before I was a believer and I found myself broken hearted, I always turned to people for comfort. Some people turned to shopping, some to eating, but I was always looking to people to fill that void when I needed encouragement. I often felt alone, and found myself working hard in life for the approval of others.
I turned to people when I needed comfort, but I was looking for them to fill a hole in my heart that only God could fill. The problem with looking to people to fill that void is that our expectations for others often far exceed what they are capable of doing. We want people to provide the same level of comfort and love that only God can provide. When people are not there for us as we need or expect them to be, we end up disappointed or angry or hurt. That hurt often leads to dissonance in the relationship. Sadly, the conflict between what we expect others to do and what they are actually capable of can actually end relationships that were once deep and meaningful. It happens in marriages, friendships, familial relationships all the time.
I have a trail of broken relationships in my past that stem from this very conflict - people didn’t meet my expectations so I would cut them off. It took me a long time to come to understand the nature of God's love for us. You see, we want people to love us with a sacrificial, unconditional love, and they simply can't do that - people are not capable of this type of love. People are inherently selfish, and while we can be giving at times, some people are even capable of being giving most of the time, the reality is we are broken people...and broken people will eventually let you down because sooner or later they will focus on themselves when you want them to focus on you.
What many of us fail to understand is that we were created with this deep desire within us for that sacrificial, unconditional love, but the reality is there is only one love strong enough to satisfy that longing - the love of our Father in heaven. It's taken me a long time to learn to go to only Him for the love and comfort I seek when I am broken hearted or crushed in spirit, but the more I do, the more I find a deep satisfaction in my heart. And in that satisfaction, I find joy and peace and strength to face my most difficult days.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗