“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us, but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him (Hosea 6:1-3a).”
“You’re ankle is completely healed.” Those words from my doctor this morning sent my brain buzzing with possibilities for the future. I told him that what I really wanted to know was if I could exercise.
He put me through a couple small physical motions and said,”You can do anything you want except hang from a precipice.” In five minutes, the world I had known for 8 months had changed. I had regained an important part of my life.
I wanted to do the dance of joy, but my doctor is kind of a rugged guy, a former athlete, and I just didn’t think it was the macho things to do. I’ll do a little jig when I am alone.
There hasn’t been much good news these days, so I thought that perhaps this was a sign of things to come. Maybe, just maybe, life isn’t always a chore.
Suffering in this life isn’t necessarily forever. God does free people from their turmoil and pain (Isaiah 4:3; Mark 5:29,34). He does come to the rescue (II Timothy 3:11).
We become better people as a result of the suffering. We learn to hang in there when times are tough. We build inner strength. With this strength, we get the power to help other suffering people, especially those closest to us. (Romans 5:3; II Corinthians 1:5).
In the midst of our suffering, it is possible that God will give us a signal that He is indeed good (Psalm 86:17). When He does, it is certainly appropriate to do the dance of joy, to sing, to celebrate (Psalm 145:7).
God is indeed faithful to us. Suffering is actually one way He shows that to us. The third stanza of the old hymn “Great is Thy Faitfulness” explains the effects He produces in us when He allows affliction in our lives:
“Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”
I don’t know if my newly refreshed ankle is a start of good things or not. Only God knows. But I am grateful for the new lease on life the healing provides, one way or another.