Pain and life-threatening illnesses are such serious challenges to our peace and well-being. The great king Hezekiah had made it through a very dangerous assault from the greatest military power of his day—the Assyrian empire. Then a message came from the prophet Isaiah that the king would not recover from the personal affliction of a menacing infection.
Once again Hezekiah turned to God. He made his own faithfulness his plea before the Lord. The king also wept bitterly before the Almighty.
Why would he weep at this time? He was a man who knew the sufferings of this world. Wouldn’t he look forward to a release from the miseries that were part of his existence on this earth?
Hezekiah had an earnest desire to remain for several more years in his mortal body. God was pleased to give a favorable answer to the king’s request. He received another fifteen years of life, and God confirmed this blessing of extra time with a miraculous sign.
The Lord hears and answers prayer. We may not understand why the tears of one man seem to produce a favorable response, while another man’s plea is denied. There is much about God’s providence that remains hidden to us. This important truth has been clearly revealed: Jesus came not only that we would experience redemption for our spirits, but that our bodies would be saved as well.
The Lord Jesus Christ died at a young age. He insisted that in His case it was better for His disciples that He go to the right hand of the Father. From that place of power He would grant spiritual blessings for the church which would be of great benefit to the building up of the kingdom of God. Because of what Jesus accomplished through His death, resurrection, and ascension, those who die in the Lord can greet death with a very confident expectation. We can know, perhaps better than Hezekiah did, that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious Lord, You know the struggles that we face. You know our fears and our desires. You know our hearts and our deeds. Your mercy is wonderful. You are able to give us more time here below. You hear us when we cry out to You. You send away sickness according to Your plan. You enable us to live. You restore us to health. If You decree disease or trouble, surely You do even this for our welfare. We shall go up to Your house with the multitude of Your holy ones at just the right time. We shall worship You forever.