The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34: 17-18
I get the broken heart thing. If you’ve lived on planet earth for more than a few years, you do too. Unfortunately we’ve all been there before, and probably will be again. The good news though is that God meets us in the middle of our broken heart and trauma. He promises. Cross His heart and hope to die. He is near to those who have a broken heart.
How near is the Lord?
The original Hebrew word used in this verse is qarowb which means near of place, time, and personal relationship. God takes your broken heart very personally. He will comfort you in very meaningful specific ways if you draw near to Him when He draws near to you.
The word broken used in this verse bears studying. From the original Hebrew, broken transliterates as shabar which means to rend violently, to crush, to be maimed, crippled, shattered. Strong words for a deep hurt. But within the violence and devastation of shabar is a glimmer of hope. This word which speaks of destruction also means to bring to birth. Can it possibly be, in some instances, that a broken heart is the beginning and birthing of something new and meaningful? Only God can do that.
But God’s not done yet
Go back and read the verse again. It also says God saves those who have a contrite spirit. But what is a contrite spirit? What does contrite even mean? Like myself, I think you’ll be surprised.
Contrite in the original Hebrew (dakka’) means very much crushed, crushed to dust or crushed literally to powder. My heart has been very much crushed and literally crushed to powder. This kind of brokenness is broken beyond repair. It reaches past I need to get the Elmer’s so I can glue it back together broken. There is no glue that repairs dust. This is hopelessly broken. But …
The Lord is near to the contrite
Psalm 34 promises God saves those whose who have a contrite spirit. Let’s say the verse out loud using words from the definition: God saves those whose spirit has been crushed to dust. You see dust is one of God’s favorite creating mediums ( see Genesis 2:7). He fashions very good things from dust. God dives in with His holy hands and creates a new spirit from the dust and ashes of broken dreams, relationships, and failures.
A final word
The Hebrew word for save used in this verse is yasha’ which means, to save, to deliver, to free, to liberate, to be victorious. You will be liberated from the pain of your broken heart and shattered spirit. Give Him your heart and trust Him to redeem, restore and recreate your life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
If your are struggling with brokenness, please leave a comment below. I’d love to pray for you.
By Mary Kane
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Resources on Brokenness:
The Blessing of Brokenness