In the Scripture, there's a place called "the threshing floor." That's where the usable wheat was separated from the unusable chaff. Back in those days, they didn't have machinery so they would lay sheaths of wheat on the ground and have their oxen and cattle walk over them repeatedly. They would break up the husk and straw. The valuable part of the plant, the grain that was used for bread and meal, would come loose from the chaff. The farmer could have a great harvest, but if he didn't separate the dysfunctional part of the plant from the functional, he would never make a living. Even though he had something very valuable, if it didn't go through this process, it wouldn't do him any good.
In the same way, to reach our highest potential, God will take us through some threshing floors. We start off like that stalk of wheat. The potential is there, we have seeds of greatness, we're valuable, but the problem is that we all have some chaff. Along with the valuable grain, we may have some pride, or selfishness or insecurities. Unless God took us through the threshing floor, we would never become what He created us to be. God has to separate the dysfunctional part of us, the part that's holding us back, from the valuable part.
Now if the wheat could talk, it would say, "I don't want to go through the threshing floor. I don't want animals walking on me. That's uncomfortable, that's painful, leave me alone." But the farmer knows without the separation, the grain would never be useful.
Sometimes we think, "Why am I stuck in traffic again? Why won't this person give me credit? Why did this friend walk away?" We don't realize we're on the threshing floor. What we think is a bad break or a disappointment is really God-ordained. Instead of fighting it, stay in peace; that's when you're being refined. What's holding you back is coming off. Like that wheat, you're becoming more valuable.
The Scripture says, "Our faith is tried in the fire of affliction." We can't pray away every difficulty. There will be things that happen that you don't understand. Even though it's uncomfortable, if you'll keep the right attitude, you'll come out refined, stronger and separated from whatever is holding you back!