Have you been turned upside down?  Or, perhaps, it really is right side up!  In essence, that is what suffering does to us.  It can make us stop, look, feel, grow; or it can make us go in reverse, run from, deny our emotions.  It can make us softer or harder.

In the end, the all-time sufferer, Job, replied to God:  “I had heard…but now I see…”

In my life, suffering has gardened my heart in two ways.  First, I know Christ better because I have shared in His pain, called a partner in Christ’s sufferings (Philippians 3:7-11, I Peter 4:13).  I am so grateful He understands our suffering, feelings, weaknesses.

Secondly, my compassion for others has grown.  Because I have experienced Christ entering my suffering, I want to enter another’s suffering to be of benefit.  Going through suffering myself has helped me somewhat understand another’s suffering.  Someone has said:  “Grapes become wine for another only when they have been squeezed.”

Paul said it the best in Colossians 1:24, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake…”