Commotio cordis, which normally leads to cardiac arrest, is caused by an abrupt and blunt hit to the chest. Often it occurs as an object strikes an individual near the heart during the “window of vulnerability”—a 10- to 30-millisecond moment between heartbeats. The medical condition, usually experienced by boys and young men as they play sports, often results in death.

During a vulnerable time in its history, Israel took a long-term hit to the heart by Pharaoh and the Egyptians (Exodus 2:23). Israel’s lengthy commotio cordis was obvious as the people groaned and cried out to God for help. This devastating blow to their collective heart left them lamenting and mired in physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering. They couldn’t save themselves, and there were no defibrillators available to shock their heart back to normalcy.

Their only hope was God. He heard their deep sighs as they struggled beneath the oppressive weight of slavery (Exodus 2:24). And because He’s a God who keeps His promises, He brought to mind the agreement He had made with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)—one that He renewed with Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 26:3-5, Genesis 28:13-15). He looked upon them with compassion, felt their anguish, acknowledged them, and provided a deliverer to rescue them (Exodus 2:25).

When we take a hit to the heart, experiencing the bitter loss of loved ones, financial reversal, broken marriages, or spiritual dryness, we can trust that our faithful Father hasn’t forgotten us. He hears our cries and sees our distress. God looks with compassion on the bruises in our hearts. He opens His ears to hear the groaning within our souls. And He stretches out His hand to heal and deliver us.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Kings 11:1-21