“Light is always costly and comes at the expense of that which produces it. An unlit candle does not shine, for burning must come before the light. And we can be of little use to others without a cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering, and we try to avoid pain…”—from Evening Thoughts


The glory of tomorrow can be cultivated from the drudgery of today.

Many people want the glory without the cross, and the shining light without the burning fire, but crucifixion comes before coronation.

The above entry, from one of my all-time favorite devotional, “Streams in the Desert,” silenced all the confusion that lingered in me for the longest time.

I never expected it to come. I didn’t specifically asked for it. Those series of frustrations and depressing moments haunted me and turned my world upside down. I drowned in my inner turmoil and it seemed that everything in my life was going against me during that time.

I now realized that when I asked God to increase my faith and to love Him more, He did answer in a matchless way: He gave me several challenges to respond to. It was in those successive trials that my faith was tested and I know that I won’t be the same person again because of everything that I’ve been through.

My heart screamed in agony…my mind plagued with worry about my future…eyes that were so tired of weeping…I was a soul lost in oblivion. I have just been through the toughest season of my life yet. How unabashedly I kept my hurts and sorrows to myself but only until I shared them with a few friends, whom I think would understand, did the burdens slowly subside.

I am entering a new season. Now seeing life is still beautiful despite the problems that will always be there, I’m learning again to be grateful for my family, career and friends who are still with me even if I hid in solitude for quite some time.

Going through the “burning process” in the University of Life is a cardinal requirement to becoming an effective Salt and Light to the world. There are no shortcuts to becoming more like Christ—the goal of Christianity. No pain-no gain.

Only those who trusts God with a child-like faith can survive and pass the tests.


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