The past 12 months have not been easy ones for my wife and I. Our lives were suddenly and unexpectedly turned upside down last year when our eldest son came off his motorcycle and slid into a barrier taking off one of legs and severely injuring the other. It’s been a very long and slow road to recovery for him – and will continue to be. Being his parents, we can’t help but be very much a part of that.
It would be tempting in our condition to become bitter toward God for treating us with such a heavy hand and dealing us such a severe blow. It would be tempting to think that those who love and serve God are no better off than those who don’t. In fact it appears at times they are worse off. Thoughts like these, if left unchecked, have the effect of twisting our view of God from a loving, caring and wise Father to an unkind Master who is at best aloof and uncaring and at worst, cruel and vindictive.
Fortunately, by God’s grace, that has not happened in our case. I was meditating on Psalm 119 this morning and came across a little verse that caught my attention.
“Lord, You have treated Your servant well, just as You promised.” (v.65)
I stopped and lingered. I thought about its implications in our lives and particularly what we have experienced over the past year.
Yes – through it all God has treated us well. Amidst our adversity, he has treated us well. He has taken care of us, provided for us, and put supportive people around us. He has comforted us in our sorrow and relieved us in our pain. He has been with us by His Spirit and counselled and consoled us by his Word. And he has protected us from spiritual harm from the enemy, who would like nothing better than to see us shipwreck in our faith and fall apart at the seams.
Perhaps you might be going through a particularly difficult time in your life right where you are tempted to question God’s goodness and whether he has treated you well. I’ll leave you with some of Spurgeon’s reflections on Psalm 119:65. It spoke to me and I trust it might do the same for you:
We may not have thought that it would be so, but our unbelief is repented of now that we see the mercy of the Lord to us, and his faithfulness to his word; henceforth we are bound to display a firmer faith both in God and in his promise. He has spoken well, and he has dealt well. He is the best of Masters; for it is to a very unworthy and incapable servant that he has acted thus blessedly: does not this cause us to delight in his service more and more?
We cannot say that we have dealt well with our Master; for when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants; but as for our Lord, he has given us light work, large maintenance, living encouragement and liberal wagers. It is not a wonder that he has not long ago discharged us, or at least reduced our allowances, or handled us roughly; yet we have had no hard dealings, all has been ordered with as much consideration as if we had rendered perfect obedience.
We have had bread enough and to spare, our livery has been duly supplied, and his service has ennobled us and made us happy as kings. Complaints we have none. We lose ourselves in adoring thanksgiving, and find ourselves again in careful thanks-living.