65 You have dealt well with your servant,
O Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
68 You are good and do good;
teach me your statutes.
69 The insolent smear me with lies,
but with my whole heart I keep your precepts;
70 their heart is unfeeling like fat,
but I delight in your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Glenn winced as he got out of the car to see me. He had been in a rather severe auto accident months earlier and it was still bothering him. He was getting along in years and his body was not recuperating as quickly as it used to. He smiled and we sat down to talk. Our conversation turned toward his accident and long recovery.
I was amazed to hear Glenn say that this accident was one of the best things that ever happened to him. His life and attitude had wandered away from a true purpose. He had become self-centered, and every day had seen some new slights arise to make him angrier and angrier. All that had changed when he got his life rearranged by a speeding and reckless driver. They had maintained contact after the accident. Glenn had told the man not to feel badly about it, in fact, Glenn even thanked the man for hitting him. He felt that strongly about how God had used this event to rearrange his life.
In verse 71 of psalm 119 the Psalmist writes: “It is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your statutes.”
If you are in the midst of suffering, I cannot expect you to see this now. All I can do is offer you some hope. Affliction and pain are not God’s goals in your life. He is taking you somewhere. You have never left His loving care. Trust Him. If, on the other hand, you are reflecting on your suffering in the past, you too may be able to see what Glenn sees today. If so, you too might pray this prayer of verse 71 along with Glenn. Glenn passed away a few years ago. No more limp, no more suffering, only glory.