March 19th

Jesus Has Been There

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. —Psalm 34:18

Given the choice, I would prefer to follow a God who would protect me from ever having a broken heart. Short of that, I’m grateful that I was born into a religion in which God became fully human and knows first-hand our experience. Scripture tells us Jesus was brokenhearted when his good friend Lazarus died. His spirit was crushed as he hung on the cross (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). We can presume he also knew what it felt like to lose his father Joseph, to move away from home, to watch humans do violence to each other, and to witness so much physical and mental illness, pain, and suffering. Because Jesus experienced these things and didn’t run away from them, I can trust more readily that the Lord is near me and others when we are brokenhearted too. If I have to experience what every other human can’t escape, at least I don’t have to do it alone.

FOR PRAYER: If you feel brokenhearted in any way, take some time to­day to allow yourself to imagine God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit physically near you and speak to them about what is on your heart, as you would to a friend.