Considering suffering has brought much light to the reality of God. Fact is, suffering will come into your life at some point and when it does, it may remain a mystery to you as why it is all happening. It is not why we suffer as much as it is how we suffer.
One of the fruits of the spirit is long suffering. Honestly it was never a fruit that I have aspired to grow in my walk with God, but perhaps now I can see that this fruit is being cultivated, matured, and ripened in my life. When I think of fruit I always have that visual of a big basket full of tropical mixed fruits. Like the Chiquita banana lady with her fruit hat. This visual does not match very well biblically in that the writers were probably dealing with grapes used to produce wine. In the last year, thanks to Daniel Baron, I have learned a lot about how wine is produced. The best wine is produced through great stress and trials. It is not moist, rich, or well watered soil that gathers great flavor for the grape but rather a literal fight for survival in hard, rocky, water depraved soil that creates the amazing unique favors of wine. Ironically, I probably wouldn’t be able to taste these flavors now as it would taste like a chain link fence… My favorite ;).
My point is this, fruit may grow but it is long suffering that brings quality to the end results. It is my hope that those who read this will understand how important it is to suffer well. That when trail and pressure come into your lives that you too will be found faithful in long-suffering.
If you want the best example of long-suffering, look to Jesus. He was rejected by his own people and took on our deserved suffering so that he can bring us the very best wine. Some may not understand the weight of this truth until they too have tasted the many blessings that come from walking with God in suffering. Though my journey with cancer has really just begun I am now beginning to see a sweet road marked with suffering and a savior who is carrying my burden with me, who bears the cup of salvation filled with the finest wine that can ever be produced.