Have you ever felt kicked in the gut? You know, one of those moments where something or someone completely knocks the wind out of you? This is a feeling I have experienced, and it is no fun at all.
When I was a kid, we would play this game where we would hold our breath and have someone push in on our che st until we fainted. Yes, 40something year old me would tell pre-teen me this is a bad idea. However, pre-teen me thought it was fun and adventurous. This little game would cut off our air and cause us to black out. Think about life as an adult. We often do the same thing. It just isn’t a game anymore.
Ps. 34:18 (the message translation) says, ‘If your heart is broken, you will find God right there; if you are kicked in the gut He will help you catch your breath.’
When we are navigating heartache and painful moments, it is easy to lie down and try to catch our breath on our own. However, this scripture reminds us that when the breath of life has been sucked out of us, God is right there. He is there to help. Late 2017 and all of 2018 was a time where I felt like I had been kicked in the gut and I couldn’t breath. I often reflected back on that middle school game because there were so many days where I felt like I was holding my breath and someone was pushing in on my chest. I was waiting for it all to fade, and it didn’t. I was hoping to wake up some days and find it was all a game or a dream. I woke up the next day and all the same things, people and circumstances were still there.
During this time, I would firmly lean on this scripture and would speak to God and ask Him to help me. Was it an immediate victory? No, but sometimes those battles that are fought and won over a period of time are some of our greatest and victorious moments. Here I am a year plus later, and I can confidently tell you that God is near to the broken hearted. The thing about that is, He can be near, but we have to draw near to Him as well. Life will throw us curve balls, relationships will change, crummy situations will come up, but one thing remains – God is near in all times.
I want to encourage you today to be honest with yourself and your circumstances. If you are struggling, lean on a scripture and “borrow” someone else’s faith. What do I mean by that? Get with people that will encourage you, strengthen you and speak the truth to you. Listen to preaching that challenges you and builds you up. God wants to help you catch your breath. Take time today so seek Him and allow Him to be near to your broken situation. Be encouraged. Know that you are loved, and pursue encounters with Him.