The mercy of God would be to wound you in such a way that your heart was bound to him, so that in 50 trillion years with an imperishable body when all things have been made new, you might be singing the praises of the King with those who loved him alongside of you. So try to think about it this way. If I told you a man knocked me unconscious, cracked open my skull, and cut out my right frontal lobe and then afterwards pumped my brain full of radiation and poisoned me for 18 months, you would probably ask the question, “Why?” What if I didn’t know why? What if I said, “You know, I have no idea. I was walking down the street and next thing I know I woke up in a ditch and I was poisoned for 18 months with radiation in my brain and a big hunk of my brain gone. I have no idea why he did it.” You’d be like, “Hunt that dude down. Let’s handle that dude.” But it all changes if I say, “You know what? I found out why. There was a malignant form of cancer in my right frontal lobe, and the only way to save my life, to extend my days, was to knock me unconscious, and at great risk (it could have gone either way) cut out my right frontal lobe and pump me full of radiation and poison for 18 months.” You would go, “Man, who’s your doctor? Who is he?”
See when God wounds, he wounds like a surgeon. He doesn’t wound like a criminal. He doesn’t bash your world with a bat. That’s not what he does. But God will lovingly take the scalpel to you.
Now here’s why it can be difficult: It can be difficult because I know in that scenario there was something cancerous in me, something that was going to kill me that needed to be taken out. What makes things difficult here and now is that we can’t see that. We can’t see that. So when suffering, difficulty, and pain occurs, if we don’t have our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will very quickly begin to doubt that God, in allowing difficulty in our lives, is actually being merciful and is actually working towards the 50-trillion-year mark and not the year 10, or year 36, or year 42. I mean how trite and sad is year 42 in light of 50 trillion? Who in their right mind would say, “No, no, no. You give me 42 and you keep 50 trillion”? No one would. No one who is thinking correctly would. God chisels and shapes us into holy people. He has already decreed and declared us as holy people, which is why we can fix our eyes to him and run to him without shame, and then God chisels by blessing us with good things and then blessing us with the good thing of suffering and difficulty. In fact, here’s one of my favorite quotes. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages."