"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way."
In my youth, I wrote music to David the Psalmist's, words. There's no telling how the original music sounded, but I often used to write contemporary Western melodies to scripture verses. One day when I was reading the Bible, I came across this psalm. The words nearly leaped from the page, and the music flowed from my heart in response.
In recent months, all these decades later, I have been working on updating the recordings of my songs. This song has stuck with me amongst the hundreds of songs I've written over the years. Many of them have been preserved on cassette tapes. I had the tapes transferred to CD last year with only a relatively small loss of quality from the original (unprofessionally recorded) tapes. In replaying these old songs of mine, I was struck again both by the beauty of the words David wrote and the melody that came to me when I was reading that passage thousands of years after the lyrics were penned.
Today when I came across them again, it was only those two verses out of the whole psalm that were included in the mini Bible passage for the day. Simultaneously with the reading of the verses came the playing of the music in my head. I decided to read the whole psalm again. As I did, I felt and heard God speaking quietly to me, as he has before, with gentleness and love. It is not often that I have encounters of that depth, but when I have them, I am always profoundly changed by them. That I don't have them daily is my fault for getting so caught up in the urgency of the day that I don't create the space in my heart for those intimate moments to happen. Many times I have made the space in my head, but not in my heart. Many times I have allowed time and space for neither. I can't predict those times when I will hear softly spoken words from God, but when I do, I realize that God is always that close to me. It is me who loses sight of the close proximity, not God.
While I was focused on dealing with my physical frailties, God reminded me that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139: 14). The vast majority of the times when my cells are damaged by illness, abuse, or injury, they restore themselves to health. Those that don't heal themselves quickly may yet heal themselves given more time and rest. Those that don't, may be healed through divine intervention. When they aren't healed quickly, or at all, there is a reason. You may discover that reason on this side of the veil or the other, but when you do discover the reason, you'll understand the wisdom behind the affliction and the delay in healing, if there was one. The trick on this side of the veil is to accept God's wisdom on the matter, be grateful for the teaching that is attached to the affliction, and trust God's timing as what is best for you.