If you are going to be used by God, he will take you through a multitude of difficult experiences, asking you to participate in the sufferings of Christ. These experiences aren’t meant to enrich you or benefit you personally. They’re meant to make you useful in God’s hands and to enable you to understand what occurs in other people’s souls, so that you will never be surprised by what you encounter. If you don’t go willingly through these experiences, you might often find yourself saying, “I can’t deal with that person.” You should never feel this way about another soul. God has given you ample opportunity to come before him and soak up his wisdom about others.

It might seem pointless to spend time soaking before God in this way; you have to get to the place where you are able to understand how he deals with us, and this is only done by being rightly related to Jesus Christ and participating in his sufferings. The sufferings of Christ aren’t those of ordinary life. He suffered “according to God’s will” (1 Peter 4:19), not because his individual desires or pride were thwarted. It is part of Christian culture to know what God’s will is, yet in the history of the church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with Christ’s sufferings. People have tried to carry out God’s will using shortcuts. God’s way is always the “long, long trail,” the way of suffering.

Are you participating in Christ’s sufferings? Are you prepared for God to entirely stamp out your personal ambitions and destroy your individual determination? It doesn’t mean you’ll know exactly why God is taking you a certain way. In the moment, it’s never clear; you go through more or less blindly. Then, suddenly, you come to a luminous place and say, “Why, God was there all along, and I didn’t know it!”

Wisdom from Oswald

We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment.
The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption