When Grace runs in the yard to catch the bouncing ball she often crushes the plants in her way. Some of the tall grasses bend over, crushed by her exuberance. She doesn’t intend to crush them, but her focus upon the ball bypasses any awareness of the green shrubs in her path.

Last week our home unexpectedly experienced a power surge. For two days our technologically “smart” home became “dumb” 🤪. Without wifi, the watering system shut down and working on the internet proved impossible. I noticed confusion, frustration, and then celebration when a technician unexpectedly showed up two days early to repair our system. Part of me felt crushed while navigating a home where the wires could not “talk” to one another.

For three years, God provided a sweet space to offer soul care and spiritual direction. Through the generosity of some friends I met with people each week in a precious office space, offering time to connect with God and notice His invitations. The central location allowed people to come from all directions. My friends who owned the building unexpectedly received an offer from an associate to buy the building. With the sale of the building, I needed to move out. Much of my soul felt crushed by this news. Through tears and groans, I packed up my office and this past weekend my husband and another friend helped move Soulcare Anchoress out of the building. I still feel crushed to lose that space, and yet thankful for the hundreds of hours during which God cared for and tended to many on their spiritual journey.

A few days ago, I received a phone call from a longtime friend. She and I have played bunko with the same group of eight for over 20 years. We have journeyed through life together. For unexpected health and relational reasons, she shared that our bunko group will no longer continue. My spirit felt crushed by this news. Once a month we would gather for fun, food, and fellowship – I will miss this time together.

Yesterday morning when Gary drove to gym, a young buck unexpectedly leapt into the road. Although Gary made efforts to avoid the running dear, he hit it. By God’s grace, Gary was not injured, but the animal did not make it and crushed the front of our vehicle. I noticed that I felt crushed for Gary’s rough experience.

Crushed – Deformed. Feeling overwhelming disappointment.

Take a moment – reflect over the past week. When did a part of you feel crushed? Do you notice any unexpected deformed or disappointing situations?

It surprised me to discover that the word “crush” occurs in the Bible at least 81 times. While at times the word describes God’s righteous action on behalf of His people, at other times, “crush” reveals the behavior of humankind. With gratitude, I praise God that He will crush satan (Genesis 3:15, Romans 16:20), and like young Josiah, I want to crush all idols from my life (2 Chronicles 34:7).

Nevertheless, today I most resonate with the Psalm writer, David, as he described the Lord’s presence with the crushed individual. Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God remains near when we feel crushed by the circumstances of life. Often the unexpected, the sudden, and unknown hardships of life feel crushing, yet God cares for us in those moments. What a relief that God stays close even when we might feel far away due to crushing conditions.

In Psalm 38, David described himself as “utterly spent and crushed” (vs. 8). Have you ever felt “utterly spent and crushed?” I have. Yet still, David recognized that God saw his brokenness. Along with David, our “sighing is not hidden” from God (vs. 9). God knows when we experience feelings of being crushed and continually extends His presence, consolation, and understanding. He knows what it is like to feel crushed. As Isaiah 53:5 declares, Jesus was “crushed for our iniquities” bringing peace and healing. God extends His peace and healing to the parts of our being that feel crushed .

Notice the places in your soul that need God’s peace and healing. Ask Him to meet you in those spaces. Receive the peace and healing He offers you.

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Jesus came so that we might have a full and abundant life (John 10:10). When those crushing moments arise, let’s remember the nearness of God. He is with us! Through Jesus Christ, salvation and rescue are guaranteed (John 3:16). Live in the peace of God and receive His healing to your soul.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Isaiah 53:5 –  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Psalm 30:2 – Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Max Lucado. God Will Carry You Through. Nashville, TN. 2013.

Joseph Prince. Healing Promises. Lake Mary, FL. 2012.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Chris Tomlin. Blessed Be The Name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI6585ekuhg

Charity Gayle. I Speak Jesus.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcmqSfr1ENY

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

If you’d like to watch a video from when I shared with Denver Seminary students about my trip to the Ukraine – here is the link: https://vimeo.com/846794477?share=copy