Don't worry, I am not about to put up balms and recipes to ease pain here! :P I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere for that! :) Instead, I have been reading In God's Underground by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs (I hope to write a review of this book here at a later date). He was imprisioned for many years under Communism, and for now I thought I'd share an excerpt from it that really challenged me, as there is so much in it that shows us how we ought to respond to trials. Here Richard Wurmbrand is speaking to a group of students at a university following his experiences.
1. The first herb is called contentedness: be satisfied with what you have. I may shiver in my rags as I gnaw on a crust, but how much worse off I should be if the emperor had thrown me into a dungeon with nothing at all to eat!
2. The second herb is common sense. Whether I rejoice or worry, I shall still be in prison so why repine?
3. The third is remembrance of past sins: count them, and on the supposition that every sin deserves a day in prison, reckon how many lives you would spend behind bars - you have been let off lightly!
4. The fourth is the thought of the sorrows which Christ bore gladly for us. If the only man who ever could choose his fate on earth chose pain, what great value He must have seen in it! So we observe that, borne with serenity and joy, suffering redeems.
5. The fifth herb is the knowledge that suffering has been given to us by God as from a father, not to harm us, but to cleanse and sanctify us. The suffering through which we pass has the purpose of purifying us, and preparing us for heaven.
6. The sixth is the knowledge that no suffering can harm a Christian life. If the pleasures of the flesh are all, then pain and prison bring an end to a man's aim in living; but if the core of life is truth, that is something which no prison cell can change. In prison or out of it two and two make four. Prison cannot stop me from loving; iron bars cannot exclude faith. If these ideals make up my life, I can be serene anywhere.
7. The last herb in the recipe is hope. The wheel of life may put the emperor's physician in prison, but it goes on turning. It may put me back in the palace, and even put me on the throne.'
"... I have drunk barrels of this tea since then," I said, "and I can recommend it to you all. It has proved good."
What a challenge this was to me! I pray that it challenges you too to look to the Lord in the hard times and trust Him.