Lay down this principle as a law-God does nothing arbitrary. If He takes away your health, for instance, it is because He has some reason for doing so; and this is true of everything you value; and if you have real faith in Him, you will not insist on knowing the reason. If you find, in the course of daily events, that your self-consecration was not perfect-that is, that your will revolts at His will-do not be discouraged, but fly to your Savior and stay in His presence, till you obtain the spirit in which He cried in His hour of anguish, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). Everytime you do this it will be easier to do it; every such consent to suffer will bring you nearer and nearer to Him; and in this nearness to Him you will find such peace such blessed, sweet peace as will make your life infinitely happy, no matter what may be its mere outside conditions. Just think, my dear Katy, of the honor and the joy of having your will one with the Divine will and so becoming changed inot Christ’s image from glory to glory! ~Dr. Cabot to Katy (Stepping Heavenward, Mrs. E. Prentiss, p. 88).
I actually sat down to write something else. Something else from this book that I read and I’ve been mulling over, but then when I cracked open the book to re-read what I was going to write about, it fell open to this page and well, the conversations that I had with some lovely ladies came flooding back to me. In some crazy way, this portion of Dr. Cabot’s letter to Katy was encouraging to me. Have I told you that I love, love, love the book Stepping Heavenward? It is seriously, one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Suffering brings us closer to Jesus. I think that this happens over time. A long time. I’ve been thinking about this, a lot. I was talking to Mike the other day, just kind of verbalzing what had been going on in my head. I was thinking about where I was nearly 5 years ago. Full of hurt. Pain. Saddness. Helplessness. I really thought that it would never end, but now looking back on the last several years, I’m not entirely sure how I got from there to here. It just sorta happened. Healing happened. Is happening. I can pick out several “turning points”, but not really sure when it happened. Does that make any sense?
Through our suffering we have been brought closer to Jesus. Just as He intended. I don’t think that I really recognized that happening. A lot of misconceptions were torn down during those years about suffering as a Christian. About suffering as Jesus suffered. We learned how growing nearer to Him we found peace in the midst of the darkest time in our life. We found joy. Not emotional, fleeting joy, but JOY! The only joy that Jesus can give. The joy that remains even in the midst of the yuck.
Suffering brings us nearer and nearer to Him. Honestly, I’m grateful for that. Really grateful for that. That’s not something that I would’ve said a couple of years ago. Heck, even a year ago. But as I think about it, I’m grateful that Jesus has brought us through. IS bringing us through. That He’s changed us. Hopefully He’s receiving the glory, because, well, Jesus has done it (is doing it) not us. He’s bringing us nearer to Him. He’s bringing us peace and joy. The kind that’s unexplainable. Because He’s doing it, then He gets the glory. All of it.