The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. —Psalm 34:18
In the book What Happened to You? by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry, Perry tells a story of a young boy he worked with once who had been physically and sexually abused for years, first by his biological parents and later his foster parents. When he ran away one day, a police officer missed a chance to rescue him because he didn’t believe the boy’s story, and he returned him to his abusers. They punished him by making him sleep outside in the chicken coop that night. The next day, the boy wrote in his diary, “Why does God hate me so much?”
My first thought upon reading that was that not only does God not hate him, but God was suffering with him every moment that he suffered. After he was finally removed from his abusers, I hope medical care workers and mental health professionals surrounded him with care so he could come to know that he was worthy of love. I hope that someone helped him realize that God didn’t do those things to him, but that sick and broken human beings did those things to him. I pray that he and all those who suffer so incredibly can come to feel what the psalmist proclaimed: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.”
For Prayer: If you are brokenhearted in any way, beg to feel and trust in God’s presence with you and love for you. If you are not brokenhearted today, pray to be an instrument of God’s care for someone else who is.
To Pray: Jesus, you proved your willingness to be with brokenhearted people. May we know your presence with us now when we are hurting.