“Though He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things He suffered.” Whatever else this mysterious and perplexing verse teaches, one thing is for sure, suffering can be educational. A saint’s suffering is not for his or her destruction, but rather their instruction. Therefore, our first question should not be a “Why?” but “What?” That is, “What can I learn from this.”
The “man” Christ Jesus learned obedience; Job, patience; Paul, grace; David, the Word. There is no such thing as purposeless pain to God’s elect. Someone has said, “Present pain can bring us eternal profit.” This is true, but it can also be beneficial both to us and others in this life. Suffering need not be a limiting handicap; it can be made an invaluable advantage. Like the old saying, “Make your stumbling stones your stepping stones.”
As our dear Lord and Paul found, God may not answer our request to remove the cup of suffering, but He will rather use it for our good and His glory. And so, as my dear old Kentucky Granny used to say, “We need to make the best of it.” I read of a precious child of God who suffered her life-long with no answer from her Lord as to removal of her ailment. It was said of her, “She made magnificent bouquets out of the refusals of God.”
Why don’t some of us today either pick some flowers from our garden or stop by the flower shop.