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August 25, 2018

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

If you had a chance to meet her, you would agree that the name we have affectionately given her really fits. She has a fantastic command of the world around her and a charming personality that makes you want to give her what she wants. And, of course, since “Cate the Great” is one of our grandchildren, my wife Martie and I delight in doing just that. After all, it’s a grandparents’ prerogative!

Martie once hosted four of our granddaughters for a special weekend tea party. Fancy invitations were sent, lacy décor was purchased, and I was banned from the proceedings. Cate the Great and her mother carefully chose an elegant wardrobe for the occasion, Cate’s favorite “princess” costume.

Cate came with great anticipation of a regal entrance as “princess of the day” into the cultured society of her fellow cousins. It was to be her finest moment. Until we discovered that the dress had been left behind at her parents. Disaster! Cate’s world, as she knew it, was shattered.  All her hopes, dreams, and aspirations to grandeur were left behind with the princess dress. She didn’t feel like Cate the Great anymore.

Martie could have launched into a timely exposition of how, in the bigger picture of real life, it was not all that big of a deal and that Cate should stop crying and realize that she would get over it and someday laugh at this little wrinkle in her world. Instead, Martie quickly proceeded to the nearest specialty store with crying Cate in tow to find another princess costume. Martie not only rescued the tea party, but helped rebuild Cate’s shattered little world.

We shouldn’t be surprised when God does the same thing for us.  He “is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). In His grace, He comes alongside whenever your world becomes shattered—whether it’s shattered by your own fears and anxieties, or by disappointing events beyond your control. He could, of course, lecture you about the bigger picture of eternity and tell you to buck up and move on, but God compassionately comes alongside, allows you free access to His throne room in prayer, and listens to every one of your anxious thoughts (Philippians 4:6-8).  Being the perfect Father, He never spoils or pampers, but lovingly offers every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).  He is there, right now, waiting to rebuild and restore your broken world.

Your Journey . . .

  • Think of a time when you felt like your world was shattered. Did a friend or family member come alongside to help? Did you look to God for hope and help in the situation? Looking back on it, how is your perspective different now than it was then?
  • Is your life is shattered now? David faced great seasons of devastating disappointments and consistently resolved them with hope in God’s merciful and gracious willingness to be there for Him in times of crisis. Thoughtfully read Psalms 13, 27, 28, and 42, and take them all personally!
  • Do you know someone who is currently experiencing a shattered situation? What can you do to help restore their shattered world today?
  • Put this verse in your head and heart for the next time your life is shattered. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).