From the Reformer
For nothing is more fitted to sustain us in afflictions than when God promises that there shall be some limit to them, so that He will not utterly destroy those whom He has chosen. Whenever, therefore, the ills which we suffer tempt us to despair, let this lesson recur to our minds, that the punishments, wherewith God chastises His children, are temporary, since His promise will never fail that “his anger endureth but a moment” (Psa 30:5), whilst the flow of His mercy is continual.
—John Calvin, Harmony of the Law
Pulling It Together
The hospital room was nearly filled with grief. The women held her hand and the men wrung their hands—not knowing what to do with the imminent death of the matriarch. But the woman herself was not grieving. In fact, as the preacher entered the room, her daughter whispered something in her ear and the lady opened her eyes, weakly turned her head toward her visitor, and smiled a beatific smile. She knew she was about to be healed, that she would no longer have to endure these afflictions, that God had placed the limit of death on her suffering. The beginning was near.
Calvin, elsewhere (Commentary on the Psalms), tells us that the Hebrew word rapha in verse three is not limited to healing sickness. In fact, it is the same word used when rebuilding or restoring a house. David used the word when he was in danger of death, though no sickness had overtaken him. Whenever he had been delivered from almost certain death—even at the end of a sword—he called himself healed.
Having been under the knife so many times, that matriarch smiled broadly, knowing she was about to be healed, that her house was being restored, that momentarily she would be delivered from eternal death, and her “house” rebuilt in glory.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers