J.C. Ryle in his sermon, “The Garden of the Lord” describes the various flowers in a garden that he likens to Christians. There are showy flowers like dahlias that have a lot of colour but little fragrance. Then there is the little violet hiding quietly in a corner of the garden but exuding a precious scent.
There are other flowers like roses that only bring forth their best fragrance after a shower of rain.
Then, Ryle says, there are those like the lilac whose beautiful odour is not really apparent until after the plant has been crushed.
Often it takes the crushing affliction in the life of a believer to bring forth the sacred aroma of Christ from the life. The Psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes” [Psalm 119:71].
Affliction is the building block of Christian character and an evidence, not of God’s anger, but of His love [Hebrews 12:6].