Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
A man attacking you with the nearest knife available is a far cry from a surgeon operating on you with a scalpel -- although to the casual observer many similarities may exist. After all, both plots involve the same characters: a man, a sharp object and a wound. However, the differences between these are what must be stressed. The motives of the men in question are contrary: one seeks to harm while the other seeks to heal, one seeks to remove something good from you, while the other seeks to remove something bad from you, one desires death, the other intends for life. They both wound you, but for different reasons. They both cut you on purpose, but they have different purposes in doing so. The instruments of choice are also quite dissimilar. The unsanitary, random knife discovered by compulsion is in stark contrast to the sterile, planned, precision of the scalpel. Lastly, the wounds inflicted on you could not be more different. The one is haphazard, unskilled and as deep and wide as the blow could muster while the other is careful, exact and limited to no more depth or width than necessary.
There is also a difference in how the results are interpreted. If you fortuitously survive the attack, you and those who love you will seek to penalize the perpetrator in keeping with your sense of justice whereas if you die as a result of the surgeon's best efforts, no one will fault him for the unfortunate result as a result of mercy.
How much more should we find comfort and hope in the wounds God inflicts upon those He loves? His motives are more trustworthy and good than those of the best surgeon; His tools are more pure, precise, sterile and holy than the best surgical steel without a speck of dust or dirt to cause accidental harm; His hands are not shaken by a bad night's sleep or a breakfast consisting of coffee; His mind does not wander; His heart is not indifferent to the outcome; His eyes see everything; His knowledge is complete – knowing what He will find inside you without obstacle; the wounds He produces are no more painful or deep than necessary, but always precisely as painful and deep as necessary so as to avoid any concern of His overlooking or missing anything necessary; and lastly, the results are never in question as He does all He desires unhindered by fate or accident. All He wants to achieve, He accomplishes.
Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.
For He wounds, but He binds up; He shatters, but His hands heal.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.