But one day I discovered a major life principle as I strolled along the beach, deep in thought. The waves were thudding in with an unusual intensity as a major storm had recently passed through the area. But as I walked along, I gradually became aware of a difference. I realized the waves were no longer crashing in on the shore. I looked out and noticed a sandbar that was absorbing the force of the breakers. Behind that protective barrier, everything was calm and quiet. Then I noticed another difference. Here, the beach was covered with scum and debris, and the stench of rotting vegetation wafted up to my nostrils. The water was calm, but the beach was a mess.
Then it came to me. The quietness of the water was its own undoing. Where the breakers were crashing in, the beach was clean and free of stagnation. The constant action of the waves was actually cleansing the beach. Suddenly, I saw the life principle God was presenting to me. We need adversity. We long for the sheltered, calm beaches, but God knows that adversity purifies. The breakers in our lives are a tool of God's love.
In II Corinthians 1:3-7, God shows us how he uses discomfort to send us comfort.
One day our daughter came home from school with a note from the principal that seriously changed our lives for the next few years. She had severe scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. As we went through the gamut of physical exams, braces, spinal surgery, and a year in a body cast, I often wondered why. But then I realized how many parents were out there who had begun to experience the same anxieties we had gone through. Because of what we had been through I was able to share with them how God brought us through it. You see, God had given us comfort in our time of need so we could be a comfort to others.
As you face the breakers that pound in on your life with such ferocity, remember these two things: first, adversity purifies; second, God uses our discomfort to comfort us and then help us comfort others.