By Brandon Sutton
“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).
This week something occurred in my life that was very discouraging. I spent all night thinking and upset about it. I will not tell you what happened because it is so insignificant that I am almost embarrassed it got me down. But I am glad it happened because it caused me to turn to the Lord.
I go through seasons of spiritual dryness. Thankfully, they’re usually short. Without fail, the Lord always draws me back to Himself. But to do so, He often must wound me so that He can Heal me.
Such was the case for His people, Israel. The Jews frequently strayed from the Lord like a wife strays from her husband. In their hardheartedness and rebellion, it wasn’t uncommon for Israel to see the error her ways until something terrible happened. In the book of judges, the people would stray from the Lord. So, the Lord would send their enemies to overthrow them. Then, the people would cry out to God, and He would deliver them. This was a constant cycle.
It’s a constant cycle in my life too. I start feeling pretty good, living life and doing ministry by my own strength and power, and then the Lord humbles me. He brings in afflictions that remind me how fragile I am.
But He also does this to bring me back to Himself. Pain has a way to turning us to One who can heal. The Lord wounds us so that He can heal us. We often don’t do well spiritually during times of prosperity. I know I don’t. I tend to be quite self-sufficient and proud. In those times, I am not as dependent on the Lord.
So, I am thankful for His afflictions. They teach me to trust Him. They force me to depend on Him. And I know His intentions are always loving and for my good.