The Purpose of Suffering

Carol McClain

I love stained glass. Whenever I post a picture, swarms of friends beg for lessons.

They never count the cost.

How to make stained glass:


  1. Choose the glass. The process begins with a nice, but uninteresting, unrefined product.
  2. Take a sharp blade. Cut and break the glass according to the pattern. Be sure to have bandaids on hand. You will cut yourself.
  3. Grind the glass. No matter how careful you are, the piece won’t fit perfectly, so you need to grind. Again, keep the bandaids on hand.
  4. Wash the glass.
  5. Foil the glass. Before you foil, you may have to re-cut and re-grind the piece.
  6. Solder. Keep aloe on hand for the inevitable burn from hot solder.



7. Wash the glass.

8. Patina the glass.

9. Wax the glass–being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

10. If you’re lucky, the end result will look like this:

Do you wonder why so many people ditch the creative process?

If you stay with the pain, the bleeding, the long hours–If you keep your eyes on the prize, you can be transformed like this transom.

The Point Is:

In life, the transformation of your life is a process–often painful, often long, often repetitive (see items # 3 & 5, 4 & 7, 2 & 3-all of which are repeated more than they are in my list).

God doesn’t promise easy, but he does promise completion. Keep your eye on the end result, and know there’s purpose in the pain.

Isaiah 48:10 – Behold, I have refined  thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
(OUCH! Hand me the bandaid).
1 Peter 5:10 – But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Note the AFTER.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Not necessarily your desire. But for good.
1 Corinthians 10:13-No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
You will not be tempted beyond which you are able.
Malachi 3:3- He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.
Or like stained glass.

The Treasured Lives Series

Book three, Tangled Lives will be out this summer. Be sure you’re ready for this concluding tale by having read the first two books. Check out my book page for details and buy links.











  1. You turned something plain into my beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains–thanks, Carol!

  2. Cleo Lampos says:

    Your description of making stained glass is really descriptive of life. Good connection!!!! Nice product.

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