We may not be able to understand it now — but one day we shall come to find, that AFFLICTION is one of God’s blessed angels, “sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation.” Lovelier, indeed, to the eye, is the azure blue; the fleecy summer vapors, or gold and vermilion of western sunsets. But what would become of the earth if no dark clouds from time to time hung over it; distilling their treasures, reviving and refreshing its drooping vegetable tribes?
Is it otherwise with the soul? No! The cloud of sorrow is needed. Its every raindrop has an inner meaning of LOVE! If, even now, afflicted one, these clouds are gathering, and the tempest sighing — lift up your eye to the divine scroll gleaming in the darkened heavens, and remember that He who has put the Rainbow of Promise there, saw also a “need be” for the cloud on which it rests.
John MacDuff, The Rainbow in the Clouds (Monergism Books edition)