A dear friend of mine has had a “trinity” of suffering and sometimes when I have been listening to her; I felt so helpless. She is one of the most faithful followers of Jesus I know, so the breathless suffering has left me sometimes without breathe! Then on Facebook a precious college friend of my daughter, posts the most incredible quote. I read it several times, copied it to a file for this letter and then printed copies of it to take to three conferences I will be doing. WHY? Because it is the coolest, bestest (I know it is not a word) and most comforting quote on suffering that I have read in a long time. When I read it to Ken, he said, “That is so deep and so true.” Here is the quote:
The burden of suffering seems to be a tombstone hung around our necks. Yet, in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls.” – Strum
I have tears simply re-reading this quote. During the first three months of this year, several dear friends have faced a “knock-your-breath out trial.” What an amazing thought to view suffering as a weight-belt on the sea of life to help escort us to the deeper places where the pearls are hidden. I think the prophet Isaiah would AMEN this quote. He wrote something similar:
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” -Isaiah 48:10
As I typed Isaiah 48:10, I couldn’t help but think about the woman who first showed me this passage and the “knock-your-breath out trials” that too often filled her life. This verse became wall paper in my soul and comforted me often as a college student.