Below is an excerpt from a little book in our library called “Seeking a Simpler Spirit” by Deborah DeFord.
C.S. Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures. God shouts to us in our pain.” With each joy and happy surprise, God’s whisper says, “I love you this much.” With every sorrow, every ache, every loss, God’s shout says, “You need me this much”. Our pleasures are the buoyant resting places of our lives that energize and elevate us. Our pains are the training ground, the wake-up call, for the kind of gutsy understanding, wisdom, and commitment that turn us firmly toward God.
There are many ways in which suffering has the potential to make us stronger, more compassionate, more aware of our dependence. And I know that when people seek God in the midst of suffering, looking for understanding in all of God’s messages in nature and Scripture, their gifts and their pleasures, they often find hope and courage and a sense of purpose that has otherwise eluded them.
We will all have our share of suffering before we die. Insofar as we let it turn us toward God, let God speak to us through it, and exercise the spiritual muscles that God is inviting us to develop, our suffering can become a powerful engine for good in this life.
At the heart of God’s presence is love – love for each of us both as we are and as we can be.