Ruhiyyih Khanum


"We must recognize that under duress great things are born. Diamonds form in molten stone. The sweetest flowers of man's spirit have most often been watered by tears. To struggle gives strength, to endure breeds a greater capacity for endurance. We must not run away from our heartbreaks in life; we must go through them, however fiery they may be, and bring with us out of the fire a stronger character, a deeper reliance on ourselves and on the Creator Who, like a good Parent, chastizes us because He loves us and because He knows what can be made out of us and that the pain is worth the prize that can be won. Love, hate, passion, fear, sorrow, pain -they act on us and spur us on, they develop our qualities and give us colour and individuality. Why should we want to shun and abolish some of the factors that bring out the best in us, that temper our steel, that teach us to value happiness at its true worth? Can a man who has never been hungry in all his life know what a piece of bread means, savour all its sweetness, as can a man who has starved? We are not expected to like suffering; we should not foolishly think of it as some ascetics do, as a virtue in itself and cultivate it through self-mortification and torture; but we should when the cup is at our lips and we have no choice but to drink it, drink it down strongly and courageously, knowing it will hurt but strengthen, wound but eventually heal. Beauty can give joy, pain can give strength, sorrow can deepen the whole nature of a person. We must try to get out of every experience in life the very best it can offer.

We must also accept the fact that there are some things in this life we are not going to be able to understand here and now. God, with all that term implies, cannot be unjust any more than He can be unloving. Nothing could be more unjust or unkind than to set a man an impossible task, to require of him something beyond his strength to do. The trials that come to us in life come to test our strength and to exercise and perfect it. We are not set tasks that we cannot accomplish, we are not tyrannized over by God. on the contrary, He sets the hurdle a little higher because he knows we are now ready to make that jump if we try, and what is more, He will help us. The Friend of the soul of man is there and He wants us to win, to grow strong, to be worthy of the heritage He has prepared for us; He is therefore ready to lend a helping hand if we call Him; if we fling out ours towards his, He will grasp it firmly."

- Ruhiyyih Khanum

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