On Sunday evening, I was asked to babysit in the nursery at church. I was assigned to the toddler room which consisted of five little toddlers pushing, punching, whacking, throwing, peeing, and screaming. I was trying my hardest to be patient, when two of the little boys started fighting over a ball (really funny actually. There were dozens of balls, but they had to fight over that one). So I just grabbed it and took it away from them. Of course, one of them started screaming and having a tantrum and I thought, "This is for your own good. I wish you couId see that! I don't want to be mean!"
The next little kid on a slide started arguing with another little kid who was trying to get on the slide and they both started pushing each other off of the slide! So again, I grabbed them and took them off the slide. And, of course, they started crying and having tantrums.
THEN a little girl said, "Teacher! I want more graham crackers!" and I said, "No, you don't need anymore. You just had one!" and then she pouted and kept asking, "but why?" "but why?" and after she saw that I had no intention of giving in, she finally sulked away.
During all this, I kept thinking, "if only they could understand that this is for their own good! I do not want to be mean!" Letting them have their way every time will not teach them anything!"
And then it dawned on me. With God, I am just like those little toddlers. I don't always understand why He takes away certain joys and allows me to cry. But in time, I always, always realize that it was for my own good. Just like a child, I don't always see "love" when I am not allowed to have my way, but for the Christian, we know that if God did not discipline us, He wouldn't love us.
It's definitely not easy to deal with suffering while we are going through it. But through every trial I've been through, I always see God's Hand. And it doesn't always lead to joy, but it always leads me to closer to Christ. And when I remain in love with Jesus through it, I see that He is showing me my salvation, His redeeming power and His awesome love.