When a good friend suddenly lost her husband to a heart attack, we grieved with her. As a counselor, she had comforted many others. Now, after 40 years of marriage, she faced the unwelcome prospect of returning to an empty house at the end of each day.
In the midst of her grief, our friend leaned on the One who “is close to the brokenhearted.” As God walked with her through her pain, she told us she would choose to “wear the label widow proudly,” because she felt it was the label God had given her.
All grief is personal, and others may grieve differently than she does. Her response doesn’t diminish her grief or make her home less empty. Yet it reminds us that even in the midst of our worst sorrows, our sovereign and loving God can be trusted.
Our heavenly Father suffered a profound separation of His own. As Jesus hung on the cross He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Yet He endured the pain and separation of crucifixion for our sins out of love for us!
He understands! And because “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Ps. 34:18), we find the comfort we need. He is near.
Dear heavenly Father, as we think about the sadness that comes from the death of a loved one, help us to cling to You and trust Your love and goodness. Thank You for being close to our broken hearts.
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God shares in our sorrow.
In the superscription of Psalm 34, a song of David, we are told that it was written “when he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.” That event is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:13. In fleeing from Saul, David sought refuge in the city of Gath—the hometown of the warrior Goliath who David had killed in battle. When the people of Gath protested David’s presence in their city, he pretended to be insane in order to escape. It may seem that David escaped by his own cleverness, but he clearly gives God the credit for his rescue.