Saturday, August 21, 2010

Faithful in His Afflictions

I was reading in Psalm 119 this morning and my eyes were drawn to verse 75:

"I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me."

I then thought about Michael.  Yes, loosing him was an affliction. My mind turned to two very distinct days of mourning. The day we found out - Oct 13 and the day we let him go - Jan 24. How hard those days were... how afflicted I felt. I will never, ever forget the weeping in the van on that fall day in October and then waking up in the middle of a sleepless night in tears. I will never, ever forget the weeping on the floor of the hospital room as the funeral director carried our little boy away and then us leaving the hospital with empty arms.

Yet God allowed this affliction due to his faithfulness to us. That is hard to read. I trust it, but I don't like it.

I much rather focus on the following verse 119:76: "Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant."

It is true. Just as He is faithful in our affliction, He is faithful in His comfort. 

Yet there is a purpose in pain. There is a purpose in affliction. In verse 67 we read,
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word."

And in verse 71:

"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes."

I believe that every experience, word, event, relationship and every thing we encounter in life, God will use it to draw us closer to Him. It may not be a good thing. It may be something resulting from evil or sin. I am not saying that God may be the originator of this thing or experience. But He is a Redeemer who redeems circumstances for our good. And the outcome of our good is that we are made whole, or holy, or complete - living a life in which we were designed to live. 

The good and the bad drives us to the Redeemer above it all, and to what He has revealed about Himself in His word to mankind. 

I still don't like knowing that I have buried a child. In fact, quite honestly I hate it and it helps to know that God hates death. I still feel the hole left by Michael. In fact I think there would be something wrong with me if I didn't feel the pain of it. But I can't imagine grieving without the knowledge of the fact that death has been conquered and there is an eternity beyond.  That God afflicted me in faithfulness for a purpose for which I don't fully understand. That He is faithful in all things, including being the Great Comforter of my soul. 

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