Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of
extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary
graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.
… Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
I read the quotation pasted above and was struck by how it cut to the quik. In our lives afflictions, trials and difficulties are viewed as punishment, but it may be that they are refinement. Through them, we experience a little bit of the grief of Gesthemane and a little bit of Calvary’s grace. They often defined us more than the good times, and strengthen us beyond mediocrity. They are, in summation, mini graduations; the start of a new chapter in life.