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

SHE SAT ON THE PLAYGROUND; her head down and her shoulders slumped. She blinked away the tears she refused to let them see—those girls who teased and laughed at her. Then one of the popular girls in school came over and slipped her arm around the crying child. She whispered something, and the downhearted girl raised her head, laughed, and hugged her new friend. The mean girls faded away to another part of the playground.

The popular girl was being Christ to the dejected girl. She knew someone was crying out for acceptance, and she was there to offer it. When we are faced with grief and sadness in our lives, God will send someone to be with us. It may not be another person; it may be His Spirit, who comforts us and reminds us we are loved and accepted by the One who matters most. We may never know why we experienced the pain and consequences of someone else’s wrongdoing, but we have God’s promise that He will stand by us.

This also means He may call on us to stand by someone else who is being treated unfairly or feeling “crushed in spirit.” We just may be the instrument of His peace.

Bring God’s hope and love to someone who is downhearted and discouraged today.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has one son and two cats, and is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.