Is your heart crushed today? Toni Collier wrote this piece just for you.
Toni is also a guest on Season 2 of the God Hears Her podcast.
One Powerful Thing I Learned About a Broken Heart
By Toni J. Collier
I'm sitting here at a table outside Starbucks. I have 45 minutes to write this blog before my dentist appointment at 1:30 pm and the only reason this time in my schedule became open is because my 12:00 meeting got canceled. I believe God opened this time up in my day so that I could pull over, open my Macbook and pour these words out.
This blog is about one of those moments when you're reading your Bible and the simplest verse turns into a big revelation. This verse has been clinging to my heart for the past week. I hear it and feel it over and over again. Anytime my mind wanders away from what my heart knows to be true about God's love, boom, there's this scripture:
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in the spirit." Psalm 34:18
I could just cry typing it out. (Let's be honest, I teared up.) I want to shout this verse out to everyone sitting around me. I want the four baristas to hear it. I want the man sitting to the right of me to hear it and I want the woman sitting in front of me, slightly to the left, to hear it.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in the spirit."
"... crushed in the spirit."
First of all, crushed is a pretty heavy word. But, let's be honest, we've all been crushed. We all know that exasperating feeling of just being crushed. Crushed by bills. Crushed by that breakup. Crushed by that betrayal. Crushed by that church. Crushed by that disappointment. Crushed by those harsh words. Crushed by those rumors. Crushed by that insecurity. Crushed by that failure.
We've all been there. For one obvious reason of course; we're broken people, in a broken world, who are interfacing with other broken people. And I know that many of you are thinking about this verse and saying, "Yes, yes, I know God is with me all the time. He's great, He's right there in the valley with me. I get it Toni." But listen, that's not even the most powerful part! That's not even the part of the scripture that has set my heart on fire.
It's the "crushed in the spirit" part that does it for me. We live in a world that produces a desire for false perfection. With all of the filters and the perfect family portraits, with the lack of vulnerability and the desire to never experience pain. We've created a world that lacks endurance. That somehow doesn't expect imperfection. What David is not saying is that we would never experience a crushed spirit - he is actually premeditating this idea that we will for sure, one day be crushed in the spirit. Our self-esteem will be impacted, our spirits will be weak, our hearts will be broken and when, not if, we get there, God will be close, and he will save us from it. And my friends, the only way to be saved from something is to be in the very something that causes us to need saving.
That gives me so much hope. Weird, right? But the reality is we will be crushed in the spirit. God knows it. David knew it. And, we should know it too. But we should also know that there's a God who will save us from it. And that, my friends, is a powerful thing.
It's not a new idea. I'm not the first Christian to write a blog or talk about this concept. And honestly, I don't know why God would stir up such a simple idea in me. But I'm believing that it's because there's someone that needed to read this. Someone who's believed that once you get saved, life will be perfect. Someone who's been broken by a crushing circumstance.
Maybe it's for the woman here in Starbucks, sitting in front of me, slightly to the left, who I wrote the scripture out for on a piece of my journal paper and left for her to read ...
Toni Collier is a communicator, host and consultant at North Point Ministries, on-camera personality at The reThink Group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes public school speaker and co-founder of The Resource Group: A faith-based consulting firm. Toni is known for her vibrant personality, charisma and all-around welcoming spirit. You will frequently hear her shout the sentence; "Broken crayons still color!" as she has a passion to help women and teens believe in the idea that no matter their difficult story or walls of weakness, God still has an incredible plan to go along with the purpose he's placed in their life. Connect with her at tonijcollier.com