The silver lining is really not the point, at least not in the sense that ‘silver linings’ are used in common language.
Blessings in disguise? They do exist. But it’s not a blessing until it has developed into a genuine blessing. Until that happens (and it can take many years before a misfortune turns into a genuine blessing), it’s only a potential blessing, and in the meantime the pain of the misfortune is very real.
The silver lining plays a part in the process of turning the misfortune into a blessing. It keeps the misfortune wrapped up like a silver foil. It serves as a buffer for the pain of the misfortune. It can give hope. It can make us feel a little better while the blessing is gestating within the misfortune.
I fully agree with you when you say, ‘If you are not suffering, you are missing much of what existence has to offer.’ How can anyone truly expand and grow towards the next blessing if they avoid the misfortune?