In Isaiah chapter 38, we read about King Hezekiah who got very ill and on top of that the prophet Isaiah told him to get his affairs in order because he was going to die. Obviously, this upset the King.” He prayed a desperate prayer to God and God answered that prayer with a cure and an added fifteen years of life. He gave Hezekiah a sign of this promise by moving and sundial shadow back by ten steps.
When he got well, Hezekiah wrote a poem and first bemoaned his possible death and then his worry about dying, and finally…
But what could I say? For he himself sent this sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt.
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me. (From Isaiah 38)
What was that last line? This anguish was good for me? How can anguish be good for us? Anguish is affliction, agony, distress, excruciation, hurt, misery, and pain. And yet Hezekiah says it was good for him because “God rescued him from death and forgave all his sins.
Are we that grateful for the anguish in our own lives?