I hear the echo. Psalm 34:18 reaching the depths of my soul, its sound reverberates long after I’ve read the words on the page.
See, we have hard questions. We can talk about the blessings, goodness, and favor of God all we want. But what happens when our circumstances don’t look so good? What happens when situations hurt? When people wound us? When we are diagnosed with a terminal illness, when marriages fail, when prodigal children break our heart?
What do you say about blessings when little girls are being raped in brothels? When little babies are dying of starvation?
I know, I know. We don’t like to read posts like these. They bring our day down, eh? They’re hard to stomach.
Can I tell you, it’s not easy to write this post either? I would much rather give you some organization tips or a free printable (and these are all good).
Yet the echoes of Psalm 34:18 continue, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…”
I Want To Be Where He Is
If God is close to the brokenhearted, then He is here with me through the uncertainties. He doesn’t leave. He does not forsake me. His character continues to be ‘good and faithful’ in spite of my circumstance. He is fully present in my pain. He is fully engaged and active in the carrying of the burden upon my feeble shoulders.
And when I look at my brothers and sisters, when I look into the eyes of those He also loves… am I willing to be fully present there? Am I willing to be the body of Christ, used as a vessel to display God’s goodness and care for those who suffer?
Can I wrap my arms and heart around them and say, “Jesus really does love you. He cares about your need and has not abandoned you. You have not been rejected and cast off. He is very close to the brokenhearted.”
Sadly, I can’t say I always have. As a matter of fact, I’ve shuddered and turned around in fear- the sorrow of the situation too great to bear.
But then you read a book like AWAKE, by author Noel Yeatts, and you can’t help but hear the echoes again, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…”
Testimony after testimony of mommas and children who have found the Hope of all hopes, in an otherwise hopeless situation.
“Evil creates great fear and sorrow, but those who endure can also inspire incredible hope,” (Noel Yeatts, AWAKE, p.37).
Do we dare awaken to the ugly truth around us? Can we hold our gaze to the extreme conditions in our world without glancing the other way? Can we endure that we may inspire hope in Jesus Christ?
Because ultimately, that’s where I want to be- where He is.
I have often said that if we really want to know God, we have to be willing to know everything about him. Not just the pretty stuff. Not just the stuff that is easy. Not just the stuff that makes us feel good. We have to be willing to embrace all that God is about, all that he loves, and all that breaks his heart. (Noel Yeatts, AWAKE, p.42)
An Invitation From The Author
And now, if you’re willing to go deeper, we’d love to extend an invitation from Noel and Michele-Lyn.
This week, through the help of my good friend and fellow World Help blogger Michele-Lyn, we are re-launching Awake and starting an online book study today . . . a journey to live fully awake. If you have not signed up to be a part of this incredible journey, it’s not too late. You can get started right away by downloading the first two chapters for free.
- 6 Sessions: September 20th-October 25th.
- Each Friday we will meet to chat. Just show up at the blog via the link we provide. When you are able to visit, share your thoughts in comments, or just ponder the words.
- RSVP for Online Study: Click Here
- Then join Awake Study Facebook Group: Click Here
- Link to your free Study Guide: Click Here
I hope to see you there!
Get Your Copy
You can get your copy of AWAKE just in time for the online book study. (Amazon is having great deal on it right now, $2.99) [affiliate link]. Want to take a sneak peek at the book first? Simply sign up on Noel’s blog and she’ll send you the first 2 chapters for free.
A group of us will be sharing stories this week about the book, find out more by following the Hashtag: #AwakeBook.
And a GIVEAWAY!
Noel was so gracious to offer one of my readers a signed hardcopy of AWAKE. Simply enter our GIVEAWAY by leaving a comment. Let us know what has hindered you from stepping out to make a difference or what inspires you to action. *(Giveaway ends September 13th.)
Stopping (with you) to pay attention to the echoes,