Many years after Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in India, she reflected on the suffering she had experienced and shared it with some of her 'Sisters' in the following words:
"My dear children---without our suffering, our work would just be social work, very good and helpful, but it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of the redemption. Jesus wanted to help us by sharing our life, our loneliness, our agony and death. All that He has taken upon Himself, and has carried it in the darkest night. Only by being one with us, He has redeemed us. We are allowed to do the same: all the desolation of the poor people, not only their material poverty, but their spiritual destitution must be redeemed, and we must have our share in it. Pray thus when you find it hard---"I wish to live in this world which is so far from God, which has turned so much from the light of Jesus, to help them---to take upon me something of their suffering." Yes, my dear children---let us share in the sufferings of our poor---for only by being one with them---we can redeem them, that is, bringing God into their lives and bringing them to God."
Amber and I have yet to experience material poverty---for His own reasons, God has kept us well supplied financially in this season. Who knows if one day we'll get to experience material poverty? Neither have we become 'one with the people' in the idealistic missionary sense. But we have tasted a good measure of the 'spiritual destitution' Mother Teresa speaks about, as well as a good many other types of deprivations. We followed Jesus into the darkness of Karamoja, the darkness of Ikland, and the darkness of Janet and Lemu's tender childhood. By now we should be learning to expect new opportunities to follow Jesus into the darkness.
What darkness is Jesus beckoning you to follow Him into? It could be a remote people like in our case. But more likely it is a darkness across town, across the street, or even in the next room. Don't keep your Light hidden for long.