Have you gone through one of those times when you stay up all night? You've gone without sleep from worrying. You go about the day chirping "like a swallow," or moaning "like a dove."
When I was a boy my parents had a house on 9th Avenue, just a short walk from the north shore of Big Lagoon. Some mornings I would entertain myself by pretending to be an adventurer searching for buried treasure. I'd explore among the scrub oaks that covered those sand dunes, looking for a hidden treasure chest. I discovered no pirates' treasure, but I did see lots of racerunners! And there was the perpetual song of the katydids, and the mournful cooing of the doves. I did not like the dove-song. No sadder tunes will you ever hear in all of nature! Something about their song seemed to accentuate my own sense of loneliness. Doves must be the loneliest creatures on the planet!
Hezekiah was the king of Judah. He had become terminally ill. The prophet told him, "Get your affairs in order, for you are about to die." The king turned his face to the wall, and prayed, "LORD, remember me; remember how I have walked before You in faithfulness, doing what pleases You" (38:1-2).
The LORD heard his prayer and dispatched the prophet Isaiah with the message that he would recover. God was going to give him fifteen more years.
Sometime later Hezekiah recounted that story and gave a testimony to the LORD's faithfulness. He also had this insight: "Indeed, it was for my own welfare that I had such great bitterness; but Your love has delivered me from the Pit of destruction, for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back" (vs. 17).
Sometimes the Lord crushes our spirit and afflicts us with bitterness. But He does this for our own good. If we did not experience the heartache, we could not know the LORD's power to heal. No amount of bitterness could ever match the faithfulness of the LORD, or the joy of experiencing His love and the forgiveness of our sins!