My Mom recently passed away after some long struggles with her health. To say I’ve been sad is quite the understatement. I’ve realized depths of sadness that I didn’t even know existed in me. Moments of grief and tears that have just poured out of me out of nowhere at random times. And while this great sadness has been going on, I’ve experienced something else.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
I’ve felt the Lord with me closer now than ever. It’s almost as if my sadness and faith are holding hands and walking together. Sometimes people say that if you’re sad that you don’t have enough faith. Or if you have faith, you shouldn’t be sad. I think both of those are wrong and that sadness and faith indeed go together.
Psalm 34:18 speaks directly to this of how Jesus is near to us when we are brokenhearted and saved us when we are crushed in spirit. But the longer I reflected on this verse and have held on to this verse for the past few weeks I think I’m coming to a greater depth of understanding of this scripture.
Most people might say this applies when we are sad and yes that part is true, but I also think it applies to us so much more than just something like sadness. I think there’s more to this verse than we realize.
Have you ever thought:
- Where is God?
- Why am I having to do life all alone?
- Why does God never speak to me?
- I don’t know how to experience life with Jesus, what gives?
I think brokenhearted and crushed in this context speaks to more than just sadness, I think it also speaks to humility. Humility is the key to knowing where God is.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. – James 4:10
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. – Proverbs 15:33
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. – Proverbs 18:12
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. – 1 Peter 5:6
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. – Psalm 25:9
Needless to say, humility is a big deal and I believe unlocks the door to more of Jesus Himself in our lives. Where is He?
- He is near to those who humble themselves.
- Who know they can’t do life on their own and that they need help.
- Who cry out to God in their distress and times of trouble.
- Who genuinely seek out God.
Likewise, while salvation is always available for all people because God’s wishes is that we would repent and not perish (2 Peter 3:9), we can be sure that He opposes the proud. That we will not experience Him being near if we believe we have life figured out, if we believe that we have all things together, and if we don’t see our need for Jesus.
Start with humility as you ask your questions. First start with laying down your pride and assumptions and then genuinely seek out the Lord. For if you start with humility and with a broken heart and spirit, there you will experience Jesus being near to you.
My Mom’s health over the past decade was indeed broken and over time that wears someone down, even the strongest of us. She realized over the years that she was not in control and needed a Savior’s help in her life. She realized it was going to take humility vs “being a strong person” to move through life.
She unlocked the key to the Lord with her broken heart and spirit knowing in her weakness, Jesus was strong. And while the world looks on believing she lost her life, we know Biblically true life for her is just beginning in the presence of the Lord.
The Lord is near.