It feels like I am emerging into a contentment season of my life with more abundance (hopefully!) but for many years I was in the throws of suffering and what felt like poverty and lack in some areas of my life. For years it was suffering after suffering - blow after blow. I have to say that this pretty consistent feeling of contentment and peace has caught my faith life by surprise.
The other night, I noticed that my heart wasn’t as touched by Scripture, inspiration, or song as it typically is and I found myself wishing for the suffering time because suffering brought me gifts I never expected. Gifts I’ve grown to value.
Then I remembered the Saints’ wisdom. They always spoke of suffering as a treasure. A kiss from God. A blessing bestowed on His friends. I also remembered wisdom someone told me: We are actually closer to God in times of desolation than in times of consolation.
Now, I finally understood.
Suffering and experiences of lack in my life opened my ears, eyes, and heart to God. They enabled Him to reach me. In suffering, I often felt very close to God. I could hear His voice so clearly. I was often very touched and consoled, and it drew more deeply into prayer. Suffering led me to truths, insights, and experiences of God that contentment likely would have never led me to.
And in some mysterious way, I miss it, because I now know that suffering is a blessing from the spiritual lens.