Loving Affliction

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word….  It is good for me that I have been afflicted…I know, O Lord, that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119: 67, 71, 75)

Many believers like me can resonate with these words written above.  Although this is not always the explanation when God’s people are afflicted, it very often is.  I have been living with a chronic illness since 1978 and I have been paralyzed since 1984.  It was my affliction that moved me to do the life’s work God was calling me to do for Him.

God tells us in His Word that He chastens those He loves (Revelation 3:19).  Although the goodness of God can lead us to repentance, for most of us it is the chastening of our Lord, knocking on the door of our life that moves us to open the door and invite Him into the practical areas of our life.  Like Jonah, it is only through divine intervention that our “I will not” is converted to “I will.”

As a “Type A” obsessive-compulsive, workaholic pastor I left before I got there and people could not keep up with my fast walk.  For someone like me to be slammed down in one place, unable to move anything from the neck down, it was an overwhelming intervention.

It took two years to even begin moving toward accepting my limits. When the acceptance came it was a supernatural miracle of inner healing.  It took twenty years, but I eventually reached the point where I could tell the Lord I loved Him for cutting me back and improving the quality and quantity of what He wanted me to do for Him.

Can you resonate with the perspective of this ancient hymn writer?

4 Responses to Loving Affliction

  1. Kathy says:

    AHHH…so nice to wake with a word of encouragement from my sweet brown-eyed pastor. Thank you!

  2. Cindy Kranich says:

    Dad,
    We’ve watched this grace transformation take place as you’ve allowed God to redirect your “mover-shaker-doer” capabilities in a different direction, bearing fruit beyond our comprehension!
    Love you so much,
    BooBoo

  3. Carla Largente says:

    In answer to your question: Yes, I can resonate with the perspective of the ancient hymn writer and with the somewhat less ancient writer who begins his novel Tale of Two Cities with the following; “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” Praise God for His “worst” which in the fullness of time brings His “best.” Thanks for the reminder Dick, Carla

  4. Bonnie Muir says:

    my friend dinah wooddell sent this to me. God showed me those verses in Psalms shortly after my pastor/husband of 28 years was exposed as a complete fraud & everything was stripped from my life including my 5 children. how sad it is that affliction is required to keep us in God’s will. but also the reason i can be thankful in all things, even affliction.

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