Although God’s love fills the earth, it is especially concentrated upon those who are stricken with grief. God’s heart is bent toward those who are broken. His love is heightened toward those who are hurting. David says it directly, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

In times of tremendous difficulty, we often question God’s care. When dark clouds of grief cast their long shadows over our hearts, we wonder if God’s presence has fled. David writes this psalm when he is forced to flee for his life from Saul. David is forced to alter his appearance and flee to a cave for safety (1 Samuel 21:10–22:5). Upon David’s escape, Saul’s anger commands the slaughter of the priests of God at Nob (1 Samuel 22:6-18). He even slaughters the men, women, children, and animals of the city (1 Samuel 22:19). David feels responsible, in part, for these deaths (1 Samuel 22:22). Grief has overtaken his heart. But in the midst of such anguish, he puts pen to paper and writes this psalm affirming the assurance of God’s presence even in such dark days.

God’s eyes see you in your grief and His ears hear your cries (vs. 15). His face is turned toward you in such times (vs. 16). He hears your prayers for help (vs. 17). In fact, God especially “draws near” to those whose hearts are broken in grief (vs. 18).

Compassion is at the center of God’s character (Exodus 34:6). His heart is drawn toward those who are brokenhearted and stricken with grief. The concentration of God’s love toward the broken and hurting is the gravitation that pulled Jesus from Heaven and sent Him headlong to the earth. The grief of humanity is what drew God to earth to save us.

Today, I will…realize that Jesus’ mission on earth was to heal the broken, so following His example I will seek out those who are grieving in life and minister to them.