“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed inspirit.” (Psalm 34:18, NRSV)
As I contemplated this verse my mind turned to Hagar, a woman in despair, giving up on life because of the abusive environment she lived in. (You can read her story in Genesis 16.) She was a member of Abraham and Sarah’s household and had every right to expect it to be a safe place for her and her unborn baby. However, Sarah treated her so badly that she thought it would be better to die in the desert, rather than to stay one more day in that place of betrayal and rejection. Sarah won….Hagar took off…pregnant… alone…
But God sees a broken heart, and He hears it’s cry. He reached out to her and asked, “Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?” He was saying, “Hagar, tell Me your story. Explain to Me how you got to this place and what your plans are.”
Hagar’s answer wasn’t eloquent but it came from her heart and God listened. He listened to her when no one else would. He heard the heartbreak of a woman at the end of her rope. He heard the defiance of a woman standing up for herself in the only way she knew how. He heard the puzzlement of a woman wondering why had she ever been born. He heard the hopelessness with which Hagar identified herself. And His listening led Him to compassion for her, not condemnation.
He’s still the God who hears. He hears what you’re afraid to admit to anyone else. He hears what you’ve shouted at others until you’re hoarse but they just don’t understand. He hears what you can’t even articulate. He hears your heart, and He wants your heart’s response.
“Tell Me, where have you come from?” From a dysfunctional family? From a divorce? From the effects of sickness in your life or in the life of a loved one? From an abusive relationship? From being stomped on? From being left out? From being discriminated against? From being hated and feared because of your sexual orientation? From being looked down and dismissed because you’re not smart enough, because you’re not spiritual enough? He wants you to tell Him your story from your heart, because He truly is “near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit”.
Prayer of Response:
Don’t end here. Connect your broken heart with Psalm 142 and with the God Who Hears.
—Submitted by Audrey Jose
Audrey is a Bible teacher, author and speaker and has been a part of Lifesprings International since 2006. Her passion is to teach the truth of God’s Word to move people toward a relationship with Jesus that will transform their lives.