There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange
and supernatural power and has never been completely understood
by human reason. No one has ever developed a deep
level of spirituality or holiness without experiencing a great
deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point
where he can be calm and carefree, inwardly smiling at his own
suffering, and no longer asking God to be delivered from it,
then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance
has “finish[ed] its work” (James 1:4), and the pain
of the Crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a crown.
It is in this experience of complete suffering that the Holy
Spirit works many miraculous things deep within our soul. In this
condition, our entire being lies perfectly still under the hand of
God; every power and ability of the mind, will, and heart are at
last submissive; a quietness of eternity settles into the entire soul;
and finally, the mouth becomes quiet, having only a few words
to say, and stops crying out the words Christ quoted on the cross:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1).
At this point the person stops imagining castles in the sky,
and pursuing foolish ideas, and his reasoning becomes calm and
relaxed, with all choices removed, because the only choice has
now become the purpose of God. Also, his emotions are weaned
away from other people and things, becoming deadened so that
nothing can hurt, offend, hinder, or get in his way. He can now
let the circumstances be what they may, and continue to seek only
God and His will, with the calm assurance that He is causing
everything in the universe, whether good or bad, past or present,
to work “for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28).
Oh, the blessings of absolute submission to Christ! What a
blessing to lose our own strength, wisdom, plans, and desires and
to be where every ounce of our being becomes like a peaceful
Sea of Galilee under the omnipotent feet of Jesus! from Soul Food
The main thing is to suffer without becoming discouraged.
The heart that serves, and loves, and clings,
Hears everywhere the rush of angel wings.