In his book THE FIGHT, John White says, “Tough times will either make you or break you. If you are not utterly crushed by them, you will be enlarged by them. The pain will make you live more deeply and expand your consciousness of God.”
There are two ways to go through life. We can go through life like a snorkeler, living on the surface and seeing some things at a distance, or we can live like a diver, swimming beneath the waves and experiencing life in a way the snorkeler never does.
Living deeply is our desire. Living deeply means we live more and more in reliance upon God. (Romans 5:3-5)
But living deeply comes with a cost. Avoiding pain and difficult leads us to a shallow life, a shallow character, a shallow faith. We aspire to have the character of Christ formed in us but for that character to be fully formed God must chip away those things in our lives that don’t look like Jesus. The “chipping away” is painful.
Christ taught us how to live deeply in the times of testing. As He hung upon the cross, dying for our sins, the book of Hebrews said “For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame…”
Our focus must be on the end result of our struggle, not on the pain itself. It is Christ’s desire to bring us “life, and that more abundantly.” That’s living more deeply. That’s walking with Christ in the fellowship of His suffering. And that’s where we meet Jesus most powerfully.