Steadfast love

joy (1)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

For years, this has been the verse that has sustained me.  I found it in the Spring 2008 when I was in a time of crisis.  Big decisions had to be made.  Personal preferences were set aside for a greater good. My heart was crushed and in a slow state of repair. One morning as I sat, forcing myself to read Psalms, the words leapt off the page and into my heart and soul.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

It became my mantra.  I carried it with me.  I reminded myself of it daily.  I shared it with others.  When Emily’s body was badly injured in a car wreck, we claimed it as our own and even tweaked it a bit:

The Lord is close to the broken-legged and saves those who are crushed in foot.

We both knew we were really talking about both body and soul, though.

I survived because of those words.  They were my comfort, my strength, and my reason.  God was close to me.  God was saving me. It didn’t matter if I felt capable or enough.  God was with me and would take care of things.

Last summer when I got married, Debbie (one of our officiants) asked me if there was a particular scripture I wanted to use.  This was all I could think of. During the ceremony, she mentioned that many of the people there knew how much those words meant to me, but also said she knew that God would find a new verse for me soon.

I wasn’t so sure.  It had nothing to do with what I expected from my new marriage, but because those words were mine. They had been at my core for many years by that time.

But she was right.

Last week — just last week — I had a similar experience.  I was looking for artwork focusing on joy and there it was:

The Lord has filled my heart with joy; I feel very strong in the Lord.  I Samuel 2:1

Once again, words leapt into the center of my being and said, Yes! This is me! These are my words!

The Lord has filled my  heart with joy;  I feel very strong in the Lord. 

God’s love is faithful and true.  It has been with me through my brokenhearted years and has given me joy.  I am strong in his love and joy.

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