Nearly Crushed in Spirit

By Deb Crowley of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, USA

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

She found herself in a second failing marriage. With seven children under age 14 to care for, she was distraught and did not know what to do.

The first marriage ended when the father opted to spend the week’s paycheck at the bar rather than buy food for the family. Her next husband was abusive to her and the children. They lived in a broken-down, drafty hovel, which she struggled to turn into a comfortable home. How had life taken such a wrong turn?

She lived miles from her family support system. She had grown up in a healthy home, her mom making sure she went to church regularly. Her folks had always supported her, but now they lived far away and were at an age when travel was hard. Long-distance phone calls were expensive, and she had long separated herself from church and friends.

She knew without God’s help, there was no hope. She dusted off the family Bible, gathered the children, and read from the book with unpracticed cadence. She knelt and prayed.

Her action spoke volumes. It made an impression that would be remembered 50 years later. Were her prayers answered as her faith expected? Not knowing the exact substance of her petition, it’s hard to know. But God responded to this mother’s need and the long-term needs of the children.

This experience taught me that God is ever-present. A mother’s hope and love caused her to fall to her knees for guidance when her own efforts were not enough. Life is no less complicated, but we never have to go it alone. God is ever faithful.

My mother’s legacy was a desperate act that resulted in bountiful blessing. Seven children, in their own way, accept and follow Christ—not just in times of trouble, but in their daily walks. Their Bibles are not dusty. Prayer is not awkward. God is real. An awesome answer to a mother’s prayer!

Prayer for Peace:

Be near us, God. Hear our prayers. We have faith in your mercy. Lead us to peace for the sake of the children of the world.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Open yourself to God’s divine vision of shalom. What images, feelings, and words come to you? Speak or write a prayer. What small act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking is God inviting you to consider this day, this week?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, on my knees I will pray for all that is not right in my life.

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1 Comment

  1. Such a beautiful story, althought the Mother shared many hard times in her life. She turned to God as she was raised to do, and so lovingly taught her children in the process.
    May God continue to bless this family, which I’m sure has grown.
    sincerely, Lois Buchanan (Elder-retired)

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