A popular Christmas song says: "A child, a child sleeping in the night: he will bring us goodness and light." Is this true? How can it be true while so much pain and darkness permeate our world?
There is a point at which suffering is no longer "redemptive." Beyond the strengthening struggle, suffering is agonizing, damaging, and heartbreaking.
We were not created for endless struggle and suffering.
The goodness and light Jesus waits to bring us is not a group experience.
He waits to pour goodness and light into us---one at a time. He waits to pour goodness and light into those who are truly and deeply tired of the limited good the world offers apart from God.
He waits to pour goodness and light into those who acknowledge the limits of their own power to make of life what life should be; to those who have reached the end of themselves; for those who have honest questions and have found no honest answers.
There are those who do not want eternal and true goodness and light.
Jesus never forces himself upon anyone. He will call to your heart, but he will not insist upon your answer. For those who answer with a repentant heart, he will bring goodness and light.