"Trials Teach Mortals not to lean on a material staff,—a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God's care" (Science and Health, p. 66).
I've often been struck by these lines by Mary Baker Eddy and what a radical statement they make about life's difficulties. But given that Mrs. Eddy's life was filled with challenges of all sorts, she seems a pretty reliable source in regard to what they can mean in our lives.
Thinking about these lines led me to several interesting statements by Mrs. Eddy in her letters and manuscripts in the Library. What I found was this same higher view of obstacles that helped me to think about them a little differently. Instead of becoming discouraged and thinking that just one more thing is in our way, Mrs. Eddy suggested that we look for God right where the struggle is.