We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14: 22)
The best things in life are the result of being wounded. Wheat must be crushed before becoming bread, and incense must be burned by fire before its fragrance is set free. The earth must be broken with a sharp plow before being ready to receive the seed. And it is a broken heart that pleases God.
Yes, the sweetest joys of life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to make it fit to be a blessing to the world.
Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbrier rose.
At dewy morn or twilight’s close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.
But when the raindrops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.
Often with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.
A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.
Dear Lord, oh, let my life be so
Its perfume when strong winds blow,
The sweeter flow.
And should it be Your blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.
And while its dying fragrance flows
I’ll whisper low, “He loves and knows His crushed brier rose.”
If you aspire to be a person of consolation, if you want to share the priestly gift of sympathy, if you desire to go beyond giving commonplace comfort to a heart that is tempted, and if you long to go through the daily exchanges of life with the kind of tact that never inflicts pain, then you must be prepared to pay the price for a costly education— for like Christ, you must suffer.
~Frederick William Robertson
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 314). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.