Saved from Myself
It was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. Isaiah 38:17
I will do whatever it takes to change. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. This was my prayer when I found myself reaping the miserable consequences of my addiction. It was the prayer I should have prayed long before – the first time I asked God to take away my addiction – but I was not truly ready to change back then. Frankly, it took a lot of pain to get me to commit to radical transformation.
Unfortunately, it is often this way for me. I simply follow my own path until the consequences of doing so become too miserable. God often must use pain then, to bring me back to him.
Hezekiah, king of Judah, learned this lesson in today’s passage. In the story, Hezekiah became ill and was told by the prophet Isaiah that he was about to die. The king prayed for healing, and God granted him 15 more years of life.
In his responsive prayer, Hezekiah insisted that whatever pain he had been through was worth it because it drove him back to God. God rescued Hezekiah from the pit of his own destruction and forgave his sins. Though Hezekiah also thanked God for prolonging his life, the deliverance he thanked God for – in today’s verse – is from his own sins. God saved Hezekiah, through his suffering, from himself.
Not all sickness, pain and death are discipline for wayward behavior. We all go through trials and even Hezekiah eventually died. Whenever we go through trials however, we must always look to God, asking what he wants us to do with it (James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:7).
In my case, it was out of love that God allowed me to go through painful consequences to shape me and save me from myself. Though I’m not always thankful for it in the midst of the trials, I am learning to look to God in my discomfort, as he continues to save me from myself.