“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:17-18)
There are many of us who have had the experience of being brokenhearted, and have suffered from a crushed spirit.
There are many things in life that can lead to these places, such as things others do to us, things that simply happen because of life’s agenda, and things that are a result of stupid things we have done, which often leave us with feelings of regret.
I guess it doesn’t matter what caused the pain, as much as the way we feel when we are in that place. In fact, focusing on the cause can often distract from the process that will lead us out of despair. By that I mean when we focus on a person or persons we can avoid the responsibility that we have in the healing process by maintaining and holding onto the hurt.
John Wimber used to say, “You can either get bitter, or you can get better.” If we go down the path of “life’s not been fair to me,” and use this as an excuse to harbor resentment, then we will become bitter people. Life happens. It’s what we do, how we respond, what we learn, and how we grow through it that matters.
If we brought the misery upon ourselves, we can avoid the healing we need by not forgiving ourselves, obsessing on our failures, and become captivated by our regrets to the point of paralysis.
Regardless of how we get to the place of despondency, the answer for escaping such a place is found in a constant and everlasting truth: God is for you. We have to believe this promise even we don’t feel it, can’t understand it or circumstances cause us to question whether it is true. It is true! Because we may not believe it’s true, doesn’t make it untrue. Circumstances can’t make it untrue, people can’t make it untrue, it is simply something that is true about God and doesn’t change.
In one of my darkest hours I cried out to God and said, “Either you love me like you say you do, or you don’t. Well, I need to know which one it is because if you don’t, and if you are really angry and displeased with me and have contempt for me, I need to know. If you love me like the Bible says without condition; if you are with me in the darkness and in the light, I need to know that. Even though everything around me is screaming that isn’t true,
I need to know that at least I have that to hold on to.”
God answered me and made it abundantly clear to me that He was with me and He was for me, even though it didn’t look or feel like it. He used people to do it----a phone call here, an email there, a “chance” run in with an old friend. He made it clear He was around and had not given up on me.
Circumstances didn’t change. In fact things got worse. I wasn’t instantly happy. I was in fact depressed for years. My living conditions and finances didn’t turn around over night; people who had distain for me still did, and some probably still do, but it was okay because He let me know that the words of the psalmist were true…”He is with the brokenhearted and He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”
Being rescued may not come when, how or through whom you think it would or will; it may not look like you expect it would, but it will happen, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Our circumstances can lie to us, people will lie to us, we can lie to ourselves, but God doesn’t lie to us. So we don’t place our trust in others (dumb) or need our circumstance to change before we can experience joy; we place our trust in God and that is something He rewards.