In fact those who have experienced more of the love of God than anyone I have ever met have also endured more suffering. When you crush lavender, you find its full fragrance; when you squeeze an orange, you extract its sweet juice. In the same way it is often through pains and hurts that we develop the fragrance and sweetness of Jesus in our lives. – David Watson
You don’t have to look very far to find suffering. In fact, you may be in the middle of a crisis right now that is squeezing the juice out of you. I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering lately as I’ve watched various friends go through some of the most painful seasons of their lives. What I am most captivated by is the beautiful glow that surrounds them. It’s not the grit-your-teeth-and-put-on-a-good-show type of beauty, but one that can only come through the grace of God so lavishly poured out on them. The more they are squeezed the sweeter they become.
We must be prepared to acknowledge that there is no simple definitive answer to the “Why?” of suffering. Instead, we may approach the problem from a different perspective: God is a God who suffers alongside us. – Nicky Gumbel from his book, Searching Issues
We have a God who is not oblivious or ignorant to our hurts. In fact, he is deeply acquainted with our pain, and he walks beside us through each crush and squeeze of our suffering.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:3-5