The first thought of many people when they have a serious illness is: What did I do wrong? Why is God punishing me? I don’t know why this is so ingrained in us. But most of us have said it or wondered it at least once.

King David is no exception. However, God does not punish us by sending illness or calamity. But this is what we often feel. I and others from our church who visit in hospitals try to correct this false understanding whenever we encounter it. After all, what kind of God would that be? Not the kind of God we know through Jesus! But since it’s such a common reaction, maybe we sometimes need to express the feeling so we can clear it away and move on to the truth of God’s unwavering love and care, the truth of God’s desire for good and health and wholeness for each of us.

David’s question, “How long?” is really a statement of faith. For while the duration of our struggle may be uncertain, the reality of God’s presence is never in doubt. As Psalm 6:4 says, God’s love for us is never in doubt; it is “steadfast.”

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