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While there may be ample theological writings that attempt to answer that question, what I’m about to say is short, simple and completely based solely on my experience–and from my heart.

I believe, with my 53 years of living in which there has been no shortage of suffering, that God has allowed it in my life because while the experiences produced personal refinement, most of all it has served to create in me a deep and intense longing for the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

With all my heart I long for the peace and completeness only He can offer. I long for the deep and intimate love that can be found only in Him. I long to see Him, to be in His presence, and to feel His love for me.

And along with those I love, I long to live in the perfect world He has promised will be ours; a world wherein we will live in peace and harmony and love and completeness: forever!

Had my life been a journey of leisure and fun sans the trials and heartache, rather than longing to be with my God, I likely instead would have lived a life of selfishness and in a fruitless pursuit of a fountain of youth.

Instead, the sorrow, and pain and battle scars from the abuse and trails of this life have instilled in me an indescribable longing for the peace and joy God has promised to those who love Him, and my heart rejoices in my recognition that the fulfillment of those promises is so very close at hand.