“It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.”
Psalm 119:71 (NIV)
I was out with one of my grandchildren today. Grandchildren are so much fun as you enjoy their happy attitude and constant talking. When the time is up you simply hand them back to your children to take care of. It is a little like having your cake and eating it too.
As the little fellow charged around the Bronte Creek Park near our homes he seemed to have boundless energy. Meanwhile I was having a difficult time keeping up with him. At the moment I am waiting for spinal surgery to correct a rather painful problem that is aggravated by standing and walking. So walking all over the place was an exquisitely painful thing for me.
At one point when he suggested we walk to another section of the park I sought to encourage him to let me drive us to the other area. A tremor was detected by myself in my voice as I tried to get my idea across to him. He quickly commented, “Grandpa, walking is good exercise.”
Well, his logic was unassailable. He had me as far as that was concerned. So, as I did not wish to prove what a coward I was by insisting we drive, I wearily stumbled on. Thankfully there was a comfortable bench at our new location where I could rest and recuperate while he played.
It was during his play time that I pondered the fact of life that reminds us that if there is no pain there is no gain. The best lessons in life come with a large price tag. We so often seek the easy way out of an issue which would teach us a valuable lesson if we simply endured the problem.
This is what the Psalmist is getting at in our verse for today. He had discovered that it was through suffering that he drew close to his Creator and had wonderful times in His presence. It costs us dearly to learn in God’s school of experience. The tuition fees are high if we desire to become learned in the things of God.
I had rather listen to the theology of a poor illiterate person who knows Jesus and who has experienced much grief in life than sit at the feet of the most brilliant theologian in the world. There is an authenticity and authority that person has that the most learned knows nothing about.
Take advantage of your suffering today to learn about the God who made you. Call out to Him and ask Him to draw near to you with His love and wisdom to guide you through the maze of your life. He loves to hear from the humble and penitent ones who are willing to pay the tuition fees to learn about Him. If you come to Him you will never say the fees are too much for what you learn.