I read about a man who'd been sentenced to die, saying or thinking, the hour before his death, that even if he had to live an ocean somewhere high up on a rock . . . with all around precipices, an ocean, an endless murk, endless solitude and endless storms — and had to stand there, on those two feet of space, all his life, for a thousand years, eternity — that it would be better to live like that than to die so very soon! If only he could live, live, and live! Never mind what that life was like! As long as he could live!
Over and above any spring we may know, outside our windows or in our hearts, there is the illimitable sweep of God's concern for his creation and his creatures; comprehending both suffering and beatitude, and transcending both. No one who has been spared — certainly not I — dare say to the afflicted that they are blessed in their affliction, or dare offer comfort in universal terms for particular griefs. Yet one can dimly see and humbly say that suffering is an integral and essential part of our human drama. That it falls upon one and all in differing degrees and belongs to God's purpose for us here on earth, so that in the end, all the experience of living has to teach us is to say: Thy will be done. To say it standing before a cross; itself signifying the suffering of God in the person of a Man, and the redemption of a Man in the person of God. The greatest sorrow and the greatest joy co-existing on Golgotha.