Early in the last century an old missionary couple who had been working in Africa for many years returned to America to retire. With no pension and broken in health, they were discouraged, and somewhat fearful of the future.
They happened to be booked on the same ship as Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from a big-game hunting expedition. They watched the passengers trying to glimpse the great man, the crew fussing over him. At the dock in New York a band was waiting to greet the president…but the missionary couple slipped off the ship unnoticed.
That night the man's spirit broke. He said to his wife, "I can't take this; God is not treating us fairly." His wife suggested he go in the bedroom and tell the Lord.
A short time later he came out with a face completely changed. His wife asked, "Dear, what happened?"
"The Lord settled it with me," he said. "I told him how bitter I was that the president should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said, 'But you're not home yet!'" *
And now I can share what went before the story to my friend.
It is not practical to go into the details here, also what I have been through might not be directly relevant to you. What is common with all who suffer is this - We experience some kind of loss. What I have discovered and here again, it could be different from person to person is that through suffering we might find the Lord in ways that just isn't possible any other way.
You come out of this with a deeply personal relationship with him that you struggle to find to words to explain. When you are still in there, it is like fire. When you come out of it, you realize it is worth it.
We suffer, become depressed because we are not home yet and especially so when we thought we are already home. Let me explain briefly from a story I have received several times. (i.e., the story you just read above)
* From "My Time With God" by Donald McCullough.