cholla cross by Svobodat, wikimedia commons

The heart is stretched through suffering, and enlarged. But O the agony of this enlarging of the heart, that one may be prepared to enter into the anguish of others!…The cross as dogma is painless speculation; the cross as lived suffering is anguish and glory. Yet God, out of the pattern of his own heart, has planted the cross along the road of holy obedience. And he enacts in the hearts of those he loves the miracle of willingness to welcome suffering and to know it for what it is – the final seal of his gracious love.

Source: as quoted in Rich in Years