Ease has not produced greatness. The greatest helpers of humanity have learned their lessons in the school of suffering. It is through struggles, pain, and loneliness that they have won their character – the kind of character that has made a difference for the better, in the lives of those around them as well as in their own lives. They are the great “victor souls” who perceived that the best things lay beyond some battle-field, and they were willing to fight their way across that thunder-scarred plain to obtain them.
Their high natures had come to understand that there are blessings we cannot obtain if wecannot accept and endure suffering. In the same way that we cannot expect a harvest until after the plowshare has done its work, there are gifts and revelations that can only come to us through sorrow. It is written of the greatest character of all time, the One around whom all destiny revolves, that even He could be “made perfect” (or complete, as a Man), only through suffering. If it were chosen for Him, then is it not probable that it is a chosen means for us also? There must be a very high treasure, indeed, hidden within the rough wrapping of this thing called Suffering.
Apparent adversity, then, can turn out to be for our advantage. See there the majestic bird rising against a strong headwind? It is not in spite of the wind, but because of it. If faced at just the right angle, the opposing force becomes a lifting force.
The environment of a blasting storm buffets the ship, tears its rigging, scars its bulwarks; but, it can make the hands of the voyagers strong, the hearts brave, and the soul’s sinews robust in a way the calm seas never can. And so, True-Heart, fellow traveler on life’s wide sea, take courage, and spread your sails to the favoring breezes of adversity.
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