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

Have you ever thought about the things we take for granted but hope we never have to use? Insurance, lifeline, safety net under a high-wire act, fire extinguisher, ambulance, or home alarm system. The list could be much longer. We put these things in place just in case something happens. We feel safer, and indeed we are safer.

But illnesses happen, heart attacks come, performers fall, fires spring up, accidents take place, and thieves break in. And when they do, we are prepared. We know what we can count on for protection.

The focus verse today, indeed the entire passage, offers the healing for pain that goes deep into our hearts and spirits. We have no physical or contractual resources to soothe or tenderly touch these deep wounds. What we do have, however, is the sweet promise of the Lord that He is close and He cares. The psalm tells us He hears, delivers, saves, protects, and redeems those who love Him.

We don’t relish being brokenhearted or crushed in spirit. We would rather be whole and healthy. But most of us have lived long enough to know life hurts. Someone once said we can count on God to promise us four things: peace, power, purpose, and trouble. We can also count on His promise to be close and to save.

Thank God today for His promise never to leave us nor forsake us.

Dianne Swaim is a chaplain at the VA Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Married to Gordon, she is the mother of three and grandmother of nine.