God who is near to the brokenhearted

 

 

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:18-19).

 

 

                Only and we know our deep wound in our hearts.  There is times when we receive deep wounds in our hearts, so that we refuse to be comforted by anybody else who are around us (Ps. 77:2).  In my case, I didn’t want to receive any calls for a week after my first baby Charis died.  I didn’t want to get anybody's comfort.  I still remember that when I came back to my apartment after Charis’ funeral, I asked my wife to put away all the Charis’ pictures away because it was very hard for me to see her pictures.  So my wife took all the baby Chris’ pictures and arranged them in an album until the next day morning even though I am sure she was going through much more pains than me.  I still cannot forget her and what she did.  I think the death of a beloved child hurts our hearts very deeply.  Of course, it doesn’t seem that a father and a mother are equally hurt by their child's death.  I think that each person has a pain.  Their ears can be different.

 

                In our life of faith, there is much suffering like the psalmist.  There were many trials in our lives.  There are many trials in the present as well.  And there will be more trials in the future.  One of the things that makes us suffer from such trials is that God doesn’t answer our prayers according to our expectation of deliverance but that He gives greater trial in our lives.  Then we are both troubled and confused.  We can’t understand the will of God.  So we ask ourselves, ‘Why doesn’t God answer my prayer and deliver me from my suffering?  Why does God make me to suffer harder troubles?’  That was what happened to the Israelites too.  When they cried out to God in their sufferings in Egypt (Exod. 3:7), God sent Moses to Egypt to deliver them out of Egypt.  But in the Israelites’ perspective, when the king of Egypt, Pharaoh, made the Israelites to work harder (5:9) God wasn’t delivering them out of Egypt but made them to suffer more (v. 21).  Likewise, even though we cry out to God in our sufferings and expect His deliverance, sometimes God lets us go through the greater suffering than before.  As a result, our hearts are torn down without hope, in a state of total disintegration.

 

                If we are now in such a pit, how should we look at ourselves and our situation?  I think of two things.  

 

(1)     First, we should be grateful for losing our ability to look at ourselves when we are in a 100 meter deeper pit instead of a 10 meter deep

 

We must be grateful for realizing that everything we depend on is useless in deeper pit.  And we must acknowledge our inability before God and be grateful for repentance in our inability.  Of course, even that thanksgiving is impossible without the grace of God.

 

(2)     Second, we must be grateful for being able to obey the truth that we can only look toward God and rely on Him in the pit of our deep affliction.

 

When we are in the pit of our deep affliction, we can only rely on God and God’s glory, not our glory, will be manifested as we pray, expect and wait upon God.  There is a difference in God reaching out and delivering us from the 10-meter pit, and God reaching out and deliver us from the 100-meter pit.  There can be a difference in God’s powerful work of delivering us from the deeper pit of 100-meter compare to the 10-meter pit.  Maybe that’s why God does allow us to go through the greater suffering and pain.  I think the greater wound is an opportunity to see the greater glory of God and to experience His presence.  But the question is whether we can feel the great glory and nearness of God when we are in great suffering and pain.  This also is impossible without the grace of God.

 

May God pour out His grace upon those who are suffering and hurting so that they may experience God’s nearness and presence and their wounds may be healed.