"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalms 34:18 NRSV
Psalm 34 talks about a dark time in David’s past. Fleeing from Saul, who was intent on killing him, he ran into the arms of his enemy for refuge. Under suspicion of the Philistines, he pretends to be insane, so he is not killed. We can appreciate how distressed he must have been, far from family and friends, alone in a precarious situation; he indeed was brokenhearted.
We can identify with David; we have all had our hearts broken from time to time. I'm not talking only about a romance gone wrong, but a betrayal by a friend, or a severe disappointment in something, or someone, we thought we could trust. We know the feeling when this happens; the sadness, the gaping emptiness, the crushed spirit.
The hope in the message here is that while we experience broken hearts, God is near. We do not need to endure everything alone. While we do not see God, we know he is our ever-present help in times of trouble. The situation may not change -- the hurt happened, and it may take a while for us to recover -- but God is there to provide comfort and support while we heal.
God, thank you for staying near to us. When we have our hearts broken, you are there to help us heal. You provide love and compassion like none other. We pray for all who are distressed right now, who have had their spirits crushed. We pray that they recognize your nearness and turn to you for help. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.