Every morning right after breakfast, my wife reads me a devotional from a booklet. She tells me what to read from the Bible, and after I have done that, she reads the page from the booklet. One morning while I was waiting for her to tell me which passage to read, I opened the Bible in the middle, as I usually do, and some of the words of this verse caught my eye:
Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. (NKJV)
The phrase, "to heal the brokenhearted", reminded me of a recent happening.
We had been away from home for three weeks, and before we left, I was really busy. After we got back, there were a number of things to catch up on. The result was that for much more than a month, I had not visited a lady from the church whom I visit on a somewhat regular basis.
When I did go to visit, I entered her apartment, and after the usual salutations, she told me that she wasn't feeling well. At first, I understood this to be a physical condition, but after some discussion, she told me that her last living sister-in-law had died while we were away. She said that all her siblings and their spouses were now gone and that she was the only one left.
She then told me about the years of her youth in England, about the jobs that she had held before and during World War II, about how she had met her husband and how she still missed him after many years of being a widow. She then elaborated on what a fine lady and good friend that her sister-in-law had been and how she missed her now.
During the hour and a half that I visited with her, I did not say very much — I let her do most of the talking. She really opened up about many things that she was happy about, as well as things that were bothering her. Before I left, I had a prayer with her. As I left her apartment, she told me how much better she felt. "It seems like a load has been taken off my shoulders," she said. She had apparently not been able to have a serious talk with anyone about the loneliness that she was experiencing.
Jesus quoted today's passage from Isaiah in Luke 4:18-19. The prophecy was fulfilled, He said, and we know from experience that He did come "to heal the brokenhearted". Today, He speaks through us to those who are lonely. If you know of someone who is struggling, it is good to have a visit and give them an opportunity to express their inner feelings.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many people who need Your comfort when they are suffering and lonely. We ask that You would give all of us the ability to comfort those who are hurting. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Rise Up O Men Of God" (Lyrics)