Affliction: Psalm 119:65-72

Psalms 119:65-72

“You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord…”

I can honestly say that the Lord has dealt well with me. When it comes down to it, I am often shocked that He has dealt with me at all.  My Creator would be well within reason had He chosen to annihilate me for the rebellion of my youth, yet He patiently waited for me, watching as my youthful fury burned itself out in futility until the time came when I realized that all the worldly wisdom I had embraced was empty, that a life lived for myself by my own invented principles was meaningless.

I was afflicted, both by the choices of others when I was small and by my own decisions as a young adult. Acting in what I believed was freedom, I found myself chained more securely by my choices than I would have been by the God I rejected. He found me there, in utter darkness of soul and thoroughly disillusioned, and He extended forgiveness and mercy. He began to show me the Truth and how to walk in it.

In the most incredible act of love the world has ever known, my King paid the penalty of my defiance with His own blood. Regardless of my state of affairs in this world, how can I not say, “You have dealt well with Your servant?”

Had I not been brought so low, my heart would never have softened enough to allow Him access. It is truly good for me that I was afflicted, and now I know that a life lived according to His statutes is true freedom. Now, I endeavor to keep His word, not out of obligation or duty, but from love and the understanding that my Father knows what I can not. His law is my delight.

Even still, each time my King has allowed some hardship or infirmity to come into my life, it has always proved good for me. Sometimes affliction has uncovered some area of sin that I had blinded myself to, other times it has served to either strengthen my faith or to prove it against some trial.

I do not always enjoy these times of discipline or difficulty, but even in the most grievous of such times, I can now look back and see how each prior instance has led to growth, to a deepening of faith, to a more profound love for my God. I can remember that He always deals well with me.

In times when I feel hard-pressed, I remember that a grape or an olive is a good thing, yet only when they are crushed do they yield their most desirable products.  Neither olive oil nor wine are obtained without bruising the fruit. I do so want my life to be as a fine wine or a fragrant oil to my Lord.

Yes, He has dealt well with me, perhaps especially in allowing affliction.

Lord, teach me, teach us good judgement and knowledge, for we truly do believe in Your commandments. Let us not lose heart when difficulty comes but remember Your goodness and how well You have already dealt with us. May we learn from You and deal well with others, offering Godly counsel and encouragement to those who are going through afflictions now, amen. 

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