Carolyn McCulley quoted this on her blog from the book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
Christians are never urged to seek suffering; they are, however, encouraged to recognize that suffering is an extraordinary teacher. ... Great natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tidal waves, strike our world. Where there is warning, a few brave souls usually choose to remain in their homes. The vast majority of the inhabitants flee the coming devastation. After the storm abates, those who are able to do so return home. And at times there is a pattern that emerges between the lines of the news reports that are written for the world to read. Often there is a striking contrast between those who stay and those who leave. The hearts of the survivors are often full of gratitude that they are still alive. The returnees at times see only devastation and feel only anguish. The one who is lashed by the storm is often the one who is grateful. (emphasis mine)
This is encouraging to me on two fronts. One, it gives purpose and meaning to being in the midst of the storm(s) of life. Second, this is encouraging to remain steadfast while the storm rages.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. - Hebrews 10:39