I had a good friend over for dinner last night and we shared a bottle of wine. She recently lost her sister to suicide and is still recovering from the tragedy. We talked until late at night and when she was gone I felt sad and I felt grateful. Sad that she was suffering and grateful that she trusted me with her troubles.
One thing that I have learned from my own experience with suffering is that I am more readily available to listen and reach out to those who are suffering. Honestly, if God hadn't given me such a low time, I would have no idea what others are going through. And I know some of my most difficult moments have also been when I have felt closest to God.
My friend explained how this crisis brought her to a concrete decision in her faith: either she had to reject all that she believed about a loving God or she had to accept and trust His ways, though not hers, were best. There was no middle ground.
God often leads us closer to him through pain. Guilt, confusion, the fog of misunderstanding: just holding on is sometimes all we are able to do. But when we are answering the Lord with a "yes," its enough.