I was alone at Duke Children’s Hospital. My 4 year old son had been whisked off to a private room and I was left alone with the nurse. She delivered the devastating news that the colonoscopy had revealed that my son had Crohn’s Disease. And then, in a moment that I will never forget, she went on to describe to me what his life would be like with this ravaging disease. She described side effects of medications, how his appearance would be changed, and even how the hairs on his head would respond. And then she handed me a little pamphlet and left me alone in the room.
Tears flooded my eyes as the gravity of the diagnosis settled upon me. My precious son. My only son. A devastating disease and a precarious future.
I was crushed.
That was 11 years ago. Since then, life has handed me other crushing moments. A diagnosis of autism. A best friend’s betrayal. A pastor’s disapproval. Conflict with family. Chronic migraines.
In the Christian culture that I am a part of, we don’t often share with others that life’s circumstances have crushed our hearts and destroyed our dreams. We just tidy it up and tuck it away and pretend like it didn’t happen while we smile and nod and tell everyone that we are fine.
But I’m here to tell you that sometimes we are not fine.
Perhaps you can identify? Have there been times in your life when you felt crushed?
Are you crushed and broken right now?
Are the bills piling up and the creditors calling?
Is your daughter in jail again?
Are you living with chronic pain?
Is your husband trapped in pornography?
Can you not see past your depression?
Is your grief more than you can bear?
In the Bible, there is a hero named King David. He was the man who defeated Goliath and he was a man after God’s own heart. But do you know what? He felt crushed, too. Even though he was a mighty man of faith, there were times when his life circumstances were overwhelming. In Psalm 143:3-4 David says…
For the enemy has pursued me, crushing me to the ground….
My spirit is weak within me; my heart is overcome with dismay. (HCSB)
His life was crushed to the ground.
His spirit was overwhelmed and weak within him.
His heart was dismayed.
Can you relate? I can. There have been days when the only way I made it though was by eating at Chick-Fil-A and watching Pride and Prejudice. Life can be cruel and disappointing. And as a Christian, I feel guilty for saying that I am crushed. I’m supposed to confess that I am blessed when inside I am crushed. I’m supposed to say that I am “healed in Jesus name” when really I am in crushing pain. I’m supposed to say that I am fine, when I am not.
The good news is that God truly cares about the crushed. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:18:
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Another scripture that makes my heart leap with hope is Isaiah 57:15. It says that God dwells with the contrite in order to revive the heart of the contrite.
When you study the word “contrite” in the original Hebrew language, you see that it means crushed. Broken. Shattered.
God dwells with the crushed in order to revive their hearts.
Your crushed spirit attracts God like a magnet.
God is there with you when you are crushed. He comes to sit with you in the midst of your brokenness. He knows all about your shattered dreams. He holds you in His arms, wipes away your tears, and breathes new life into your crushed spirit. He is near to you to revive your heart. Be still. Let Him hold you. Feel His nearness.
He is there as you sign divorce papers.
He there when you talk to your creditors.
He is there when you go to court again.
He is there when you go to the doctor.
He is there when you can’t get out of bed.
He is there in your overwhelming grief.
He is even there when you take your depression medication.
People are uncomfortable when you are crushed, but your crushed spirit attracts God like a magnet. When you are crushed, God comes running.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
If you would like to share with me how you’ve been crushed, or a praise report about how God has been with you or healed you, leave me a comment or reply to this email.