"Lord, by such things men live, and my spirit finds life in them too . . . . Surely it was for

God sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him that his illness would end in death and to put his house in order. Hezekiah prayed hard and the Lord added a further fifteen years to his life. It was after his death had been delayed that Hezekiah was able to say that his trauma had been good for him. Beforehand, his prayer was sulking and wheedling. Would anyone else's have been different? Few of us are willing to make the confession that tribulation is good for us. Only in retrospect does it seem clear that 'by such things men live.'

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