If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it.
-John Donne, excerpt out of “Meditation XVII” from DEVOTIONS UPON EMERGENT OCCASIONS, Public Domain (written 1624).
This quote struck me as I read it today.
I was reminded how just suffering does not produce wisdom. One has to take that “tribulation” and translate it.
Many cheaters suffer due to their own choices and actions, yet they are none the wiser for their self-induced tribulation.
The suffering is merely an opportunity. How we respond to the suffering dictates whether or not we come out richer in spite of that difficult circumstance.
One of the major gifts from my time of tribulation was a richer understanding of God’s love for you and me:
I gained a deeper, gut-level understanding of our God who waits with longing for His cheating Bride–i.e. us–to repent and return to Him.
Now, some never do repent and return. And just as it broke my heart that my (now ex) wife took that path, I am convinced God feels that pain every time a human rejects His love refusing to repent and return.
Instead of rejecting God or becoming bitter towards spiritual matters, faithful spouses, we can use these painful days to grasp a deeper understanding of our God who suffers with and for us.
We can take the raw gold ingot of our suffering and “coin it” with currency for our present.