I used to read this Scripture and think that the broken bones referred to the pain that life brings. I used to think that David was simply asking God to heal the hurt that He had allowed to occur, and to help him be happy again.
But in medicine, when an injury occurs and a fractured bone doesn’t line up correctly, it won’t heal properly, and the physician sometimes has to surgically re-break it. Not only is the initial injury painful and traumatizing, but the process and treatment in fixing it can be equally painful and take time.
But the outcome is supposed to be worth all the pain. To be functional again, to get stronger where you were once fragile – it makes you aware that the process was necessary and worth it all.
When I went through my divorce, like others, I experienced a tremendous sense of grief and loss. Some of it was because of my own choices, and some of it was from the hurtful actions of others. In those early post-divorce days, I felt so shattered by the experience that it felt physically painful at times. One night I thought about this Scripture and prayed, “God heal these broken bones. Heal my broken heart!” Little did I realize then that the process was going to be long and painful. As it turned out, the pain from the events leading to and surrounding the divorce was not the only thing from which I needed healed. I needed to be reshaped, fixed in places I didn’t even realize needed fixed. I needed changed from deep within.
When you have been broken by life, and you ask God for help, perhaps you don’t just need healed, but you need to go through the painful process of being re-broken. During this time, you might have days of feeling inpatient to “hear joy and gladness” again. Not just joy, but David asked for double the joy that he may have had in days gone by. God is like that. He doesn’t just heal, but He restores, and it’s always better than before!
So like David, in asking God to heal your wounds and restore happiness in your life, pray for patience for that day to come. Expect a double dose of whatever you had before! And in the meantime, trust Him to be a painkiller and grant peace until the day of total restoration arrives!