Suffering, of course, can lead you in either of two directions: It can make you very bitter and close you down, or it can make you wise, compassionate, and utterly open, either because your heart has been softened, or perhaps because suffering makes you feel like you have nothing more to lose. It often takes you to the edge of your inner resources where you “fall into the hand of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31), even against your will. We must all pray for the grace of this second path of softening and opening. My personal opinion is that this is the very meaning of the phrase “deliver us from evil” in the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer). We aren’t asking to avoid suffering. It is as if we were praying, “When the big trials come, God, hold on to me, and don’t let me turn bitter or blaming,” an evil that leads to so many other evils.
The Naked Now