Monday, September 03, 2012

On Suffering

"George MacDonald helps us to understand that suffering can be redemptive. His was not an easy life. Providing for eleven children was always a great weight on his mind, even after his books began to sell. Witnessing the death of four of his children was even harder. MacDonald also experienced physical suffering, struggling all his life with eczema, asthma, and bronchitis. Moreover, he often experienced periods of intense doubt, depression, and dryness. However, throughout all these trials, he retained a childlike trust in God, believing that his heavenly Father was using everything that happened to him—including the challenging circumstances—to make him more like Jesus. This perspective helped him to see his periods of spiritual dryness as gifts sent for the perfecting of his faith. “That man is perfect in faith,” he once wrote, “who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, ‘Thou art my refuge." Saints and Scoundrels, page 249


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