Sadhana has learned, by God’s grace, that the tough times she faced had a refining effect. And refining takes time. She admits, sometimes in suffering it is hard to accept that God who loves unconditionally is truly working out everything for her good. She drew comfort from the fact that Jesus suffered immeasurably for her on the cross. And Mary, the mother of Jesus agonized for three days, before Jesus rose from the dead, the joyful result was, the world received salvation. And so did Sadhana, when she welcomed Jesus into her life as her Saviour and Lord (John 1:12). Think about the good that came from the crucified God!
Sadhana admits that many of the things God has refined in her character took much longer than three days for long-lasting change. In order to grow deeper in her faith and in her relationship with God, there were often long spans of hard times, when she had to wrestle with her insecurities and pride.
It is hard to choose long-term Christlike character formation goals when the short-term pain is so severe. Suffering alone is just pain but suffering in the presence of a loving and faithful God drives our roots deeper into His knowledge and love, far more than we ever imagined possible. Suffering slows us down. Hurry has a way of making us skim over the surface of God’s loving presence. Many a times being slowed down by suffering is an opportunity to send our roots deep into our heavenly Father’s love.
The deeper we know God’s love for us, the more in alignment we are with Him, and the more other people will see Jesus when they see us. Yes, God desires us to experience joy and abundance, but often times to appreciate those, we also have to go through suffering. It is through our own suffering that we begin to understand the great love and compassion that Jesus has for us to endure what He endured.