Someone told me that they learned most how to deal with things by watching me go through pain. They grew during my pain.
Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We can’t be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.
More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8)
We are prone to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.
When we are sick; when we are consumed with pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.
If we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning. Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning. You are watched. “The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today.”