I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.
Someone has said, “Trials can make you bitter, or they can make you better.” When you choose to let a trial make you better, then you will come out stronger than before. I am not advocating that we will ever reach a point of self-sufficiency. The strength of which I speak is found only in Christ. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. The older I get, the more real God is to me, and that is mostly due to the many times I have had nothing to lean on but Him. I would never ask for pain, but I am grateful for the outcome.
Elisabeth Elliot’s writing has greatly influenced my life, even as a grown married woman. I truly wish someone had introduced me to her works when I was a teenager, but I am learning that it is never too late to incorporate the principles she teaches: namely, that passion is not sinful and purity is not prudish. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have both.