“So he [Moses] asked, ‘Lord, why have you brought me this trouble? How have I displeased you that you put the burden of all these people on me?’ ” (Numbers 11:11 God’s Word ©).

Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gold-coloured decoration is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” [Job 15:13a KJV] is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, who are His own handiwork. When “We know that suffering creates endurance, endurance creates character, and character creates confidence” [Romans 5:3a-4 God’s Word ©] the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed…

(Charles Spurgeon, “Morning and Evening”, October 7 – Morning Verse – slightly edited to make it easier for the modern ear to follow)

This Lent I am being led on a pilgrimage. I do not yet know if it is from persecution or to suffering or through both. Nevertheless the journey has begun.