Elisabeth Elliot- The Path Through Suffering
“He wants to transform every form of suffering into something glorious. He can redeem it. He can bring life out of death. Every even of our lives provides opportunity to learn the deepest lesson that can be learned on Earth, ‘my present life is not that of the old me, but the living Christ within me.’ Gal. 2:20. When our souls lie barren in winter which seems hopeless and endless, God has not abandoned us. He work goes on. He asks our acceptance of the painful process and our trust that He will indeed give resurrection life….. A setting in pain the jewel of His joy.”
I was reading this, in the quiet of my home. Enjoying the stillness and lack of parenting chaos. God was very near, as He always is, but in this moment I knew it in my heart.
All these promises Elisabeth writes of… I knew in my head. But to grasp them in my soul and the heart of every thought… that was hard. Then to allow God, in all that counters my walk, to take “my thoughts captive,” realizing He is the one who ransomes thoughts I have hidden away… thoughts of fear, doubt, and other such defeating mind territory. His ransome pays in advance, a safeguard against ever being captured and never returing home. When chains are before me, I can walk away, out open prison doors and turn my back on the chains. He’s made a way and never abandoned me to captures or imprisonment.
Suffering… is real. Suffering… is painful. Suffering… is hard work. But there is mercy in the pain. The last line from the quote above, “setting of pain the jewel of His joy.” I have pondered this over and over. And believe it is too grand to comprehend fully. But, what little my finite mind can grasp, speaks of the pain becoming something valuable and a treasure. Joy… the precious jewel resting in the “setting” of pain. We all have our pain… but what rests in that pain? Is it captivity, imprisonment, bonds and chains? Or… have you seen the deep facets and holy light that shimmers from the “jewel of His joy?”
(2 Timothy 2:11-12) ESV The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;  if we endure, we will also reign with him…