Today I met with a pastor friend who is mourning the loss of his mother. Oddly enough, this morning I was in Psalm 56 for my quiet time. I love these words of David (verse 8): "You have collected all my tears and have preserved them in your bottle. You have recorded every one in your book." And so it is with us: God is at work in our lives turning our greatest pain into priceless, one-of-a-kind gems, just as a pearl is formed from an irritant. The joy comes from knowing that the difficulties God allows us to experience help us to draw closer to him.
The lives of David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, and my pastor friend all attest to this.