Friday, November 10, 2023

"It Was Good for Me to be Afflicted"


"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees.  The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold," (Psalm 119:71-72)  Really, Lord, it is good to be afflicted?  How does that work, Lord?  Perhaps you as a reader join me at times in the sentiments I just expressed.  Trials and challenges are never pleasant.

So how can afflictions ever be good?  I think the Scripture passage begins to give us an answer to that question.  Afflictions makes God's Word more precious to us.  In times of challenge we run to God's Word for comfort and direction, and His Word becomes more precious to us than gold or anything else in this life in the process.  If one clings to the Lord in times like these, one's faith and relationship with Him aso becomes so much sweeter.  It is also a time when we begin to learn sweet surrender to the Lord's perfect timing and will.  This in turn leads to His peace.

How do I know this?  I know this because I have experienced this myself in my life in many ways.  I begin to experience this when my first husband developed a neurological disease which grandually made him more and more physically disabled until finally he became totally dependent on me and a wheel chair and lift.  I experienced it when I also developed breast cancer during that same time period and endured eight months of treatment.  I experienced it when my first husband died after four and a half years of decline, and I became a widow.  God's promises in His Word and His presence in my life were so very precious during those years of caring for my husband, and they still are in the years since.

I am also experiencing all these blessings, now as I face more pronounced ongoing back issues.  It is further something I am experiencing now as my second husband has been diagnosed with a different kind of neurological disease.  Does this mean that I always feel joyful all the time about the circumstances?  No, sometimes it is a struggle and a cause for sadness.  Becoming a  family caregiver a second time never was something I wanted to do.  

Yet thesse struggles have once again laid on my heart the need for sweet surrender to the Lord and the need to NOT try to "fix" things" in my own way and on my own terms.  It has impressed on me the need to surrender to the Lord and to trust His way and timing.  I fall so far short in this surrender to the Lord, but God is working on me.

I think afflictions and trials can also make us more thankful for all the wonderful gifts we have in our life like sunrises and sunsets, the changing of the seasons, and a host of other things.  It further opens our eyes to how God is using our difficult circumstances to help others and encourge others and for them to encourage us.  I saw that in my experiences with my first husband, and I am seeing it now in my present situation.  Finally, lessons learned in times of affliction and wilderness tend to be remembered the best and the longest.  So yes, as difficult as it can be at times, it is good to be afflicted.

No comments:

Post a Comment