15 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. 19 Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
Dear God, if ever there was a passage the demonstrated how our lives are not about us, it is this one. Perhaps Ezekiel’s wife was going to die anyway and you were just letting him know, but to dictate that he not publicly mourn her passing so that you could demonstrate to the Israelites your feelings about their indifference for you is palpable.
Ninety percent of my life is pretty soft, but there is a portion that has been hard and difficult. And I’ve tended to dwell on and complain about the 10% more than I’ve worshipped you and been grateful for the 90%. At the same time, over the last few years, I’ve tried to consider that you might be doing something in the 10% that I cannot see. Therefore, my prayer to you has been to make it count.
Father, Holy Spirit, my Comforter, my Counselor, my Convictor, my Lord, my God, I ask that you make the pain count. For my friends who are sick or suffering, I ask that you heal them, of course. Touch their bodies. Touch their souls. Touch their minds. Touch their hearts. Please, heal them and bring them close to you. And do not waste this experience. Do not waste this pain. Please, make this pain count. Make it count for my life and their lives. Use it to draw us closer to you. Use it to lead us into deeper worship of you. Use it to bring your kingdom and will into the earth. Use it for our good. Show me today what you would have me do or say.
In and through Jesus’s name I pray,