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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The morning after our son, Allen, was born, the doctor sat down in a chair near the foot of my bed and said, “Something’s wrong.” Our son, so perfect on the outside, had a life-threatening birth defect and needed to be flown to a hospital 700 miles away for immediate surgery.
When the doctor tells you something is wrong with your child, your life changes. Fear of what lies ahead can crush your spirit and you stumble along, desperate for a God who will strengthen you so you can support your child.
Would a loving God allow this? you wonder. Does He care about my child? Is He there? These and other thoughts shook my faith that morning.
Then my husband, Hiram, arrived and heard the news. After the doctor left, Hiram said, “Jolene, let’s pray.” I nodded and he took my hand. “Thank You, Father, for giving Allen to us. He’s Yours, God, not ours. You loved him before we knew him, and he belongs to You. Be with him when we can’t. Amen.”
Hiram has always been a man of few words. He struggles to speak his thoughts and often doesn’t try, knowing that I have enough words to fill any silence. But on a day when my heart was broken, my spirit crushed, and my faith gone, God gave Hiram strength to speak the words I couldn’t say. And clinging to my husband’s hand, in deep silence and through many tears, I sensed that God was very near.
First Samuel 21:10–15 records the story of David pretending madness to the Philistines in order to escape the pursuit of King Saul, and it was this event to which David addressed Psalm 34. His joyful gratefulness for divine protection can be seen in verses 4–6, and he recommends that the reader also “taste and see that the Lord is good” (v. 8). A wonderful verse of ongoing thanksgiving and worship is verse 5: “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” The Wycliffe Bible Commentary tells us that this psalm is not only for ourselves but for the next generation: “Those addressed as children are again the humble and teachable disciples of any age (vv. 11–22).” God works in our lives at the most difficult times and His gracious lessons are worth passing on to others.