During the last decade of the famous artist’s life, Renoir was confined to his home because of his crippling arthritis. His friend Matisse visited him daily. In spite of his torturous pain Renoir kept painting. In fact, he did so almost to his dying day.
On one occasion when Renoir was struggling with every brush stroke, Matisse said to him, “Auguste, why do you continue to paint when you are in such agony?” To which Renoir replied, “The beauty remains, the pain passes.”
“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete (mature).” ~ James 1:2-4
A wise friend, who has gone through a tough time, recently told me how blessed he felt from God. His struggles opened up the way for him to grow spiritually in a way that he had never grown before. Another friend remarked that he never knew how loved and respected he was until a difficult challenge came and his friends rallied around him.
Few things in life will draw us closer to God than the realization of our utter dependence upon Him. We need God, perhaps now more than ever. What seems to be bad and hurtful is sometimes the most valuable thing, because of what it teaches. Suffering leads us to count our blessings.
God is good, even when we do not understand all the reasons for the things that happen. Let us place our trust in the One Who sees and knows all. He will do what is best for us. Let us lay our souls, our hearts, and our lives into His hands.
BULLETIN DIGEST ~ Phil Sanders, In Search of the Lord’s Way