Scripture: 2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:9-22, 2 Kings 20:12-19, Isaiah 39:1-8
"I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria." 2 Kings 20:6a
Difficulties and hardships are no respecters of time or people. King Hezekiah had reached the prime of his life. Extreme wealth filled his coffers. He had achieved military success. Long-awaited peace rested over Jerusalem. You might say things were smooth sailing for him. Yet, without notice, a terminal illness struck the great king.
Hezekiah responded as any of us would if faced with such news. He prayed and wept. He reminded God of his faithful service and wholehearted devotion and begged for more time.
Several years ago it seemed the Lord was ready to call my mother home. She had contracted an unidentifiable infection in her lungs following a routine gall bladder surgery. The doctors told us nothing else could be done to save her. As we sat in the ICU waiting room, my family prayed and wept. We reminded the Lord of my mother's faithful service and wholehearted devotion to Him. We begged for more time. Like Hezekiah, God sustained my mom’s life here on earth—over 20 years and counting.
I rejoice daily over God’s gift of life to my mother. Yet I’m aware that many of my prayers aren’t answered the way I desire. I have prayed for other faithful servants to recover from an illness, yet they’ve passed away at an age that seemed too young to me. I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve wrestled with God over this and I’ve come to this conclusion: we won’t always know the reasons God answers prayers the way He does, but we can trust that they are good.
Difficulties and hardships will strike each of us at different times in our lives. Our best response to them is to cry out to God in prayer according to His will. Then, we rest in His answer because God is sovereign and His plans are trustworthy.