I've been thinking about the redemptive power of suffering, when experienced under the loving care of the Great Physician.
To our first parents, after their first physical, He declared them to be "very good." The certificate of good health was followed by a simple prescription: abstain from one fruit. A human doctor might tell us to abstain from saturated fats or cigarettes.
He has been writing prescriptions ever since. Adam was prescribed hard work, back-breaking labor. Abraham was prescribed fresh air--a new location. David's prescription was first a harp and a sheepfold, then a throne.
My prescription right now is an extended visit with my in-laws, a few weeks away from my husband, five kids to myself--to feed, change, bathe, discipline, and take to the grocery store!
But rarely do God's people take the pills He prescribes the way He prescribes them. Sometimes we take a topical cream and try to eat it. Sometimes we exchange the pain of chemotherapy for pain-killers He did not prescribe.
We try to fix things ourselves, run away from where He wants us. And the disease that the Good Doctor is trying to cure eats away at us a little more.
Now the baby is pulling the cat's tail, so I must go embrace some suffering, for it is through suffering that He redeems us, makes us holy.