Wednesday, 3 December 2014

It isn't easy, but that's okay.

I don’t pretend to know what you’re actually going through, or even comprehend on the slightest of plains. But I do know this one thing, life is hard and that’s okay.

Last night was our last Institute class for the year. We gathered together at Sister Shell’s house for dinner – after discussing what she’d have us remember most and bearing testimony one to another. The following words stuck out as I began to ponder the trials of Moroni, the early saints, fellow brothers and sisters, family, as well as myself:
“We might arrive at those pearly gates all battered and bruised. In fact, we will arrive at those gates ‘all battered and bruised’. But Christ will finish us; he’ll polish us and clean us, and finally perfect us.”

Her words were inspired by Moroni 6:4, “And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

Note the bolded words. Our Saviour is there to make up for what we cannot, to perfect our imperfections and wash away all the heartaches, sorrow, and pain. He is the finisher, but also the author – he is the start and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. He’s with us on our journey, the reason for our faith, which we are here to experience. And in the words of Peter Kreeft, “Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist.”

Now I don’t have all the answers (I actually have very few), but it’s enough to say that my Saviour is with me when hardship comes – and He is with you too. Something good will come from this, just have faith in He who has faith in you.

Jane Eggleston writes:
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!

So trials will come. We’ll each have our own hardships, whether great or small. Some of us will suffer from illness, others loss, financial strain, failed relationships, or even addiction. It’s inevitable, but it’s in these moments we grow. Something good always comes of it – and that good thing may just be you.

When I joined the Church, I was warned that things would get difficult in the days leading up to my baptism (and this goes for mission prep, temple prep, and I’m certain a great deal of other preparations). Not just normal difficult but more difficult, because just as the sun shines on good and evil alike so too do storms rain on good and evil alike. But we often see hardships manifold when men and women make peculiar decisions to do good – that is why particular interest is given to support converts as they join Christ’s Church.

Now I’m not saying that everyone experiences increased hardships, nor am I saying that it has any indication of their faithfulness – or lack thereof. All I’m saying is that it happens often enough to substantiate the need for increased support in whatever way. So be not discouraged.

Last night I had my interview with the Stake President to have my mission papers sent off. “Three to six weeks”, he said. Then I’ll have my call, and then – finally – I’ll enter the temple to have my endowments done. It’s great. It’s what I’ve been waiting for – and I am excited.
“But it’s in the valleys I grow!”
I’ve had the higher priesthood for a week and a half now and already I’m off the “mountain tops”. My first spiritual high lasted months, but this one fades in comparison.

Now I’m not any less grateful. Don’t get me wrong – I’m extremely grateful. In fact, I’m a whole lot more prepared. I know what it is that I need to do and I’m doing it.

It’s just, I didn’t realise how bitter-sweet this moment would be. How convenient is it that everything seems to be going wrong? Both cars are broken, work is piling, money is thinning, and my sister’s thyroid is acting up, not to mention the other stuff.

Now I know it isn’t much in comparison to what I’ve already gone through. I know. And I know, deep down, that this thing with my sister’s thyroid is just a health scare and in a few weeks from now it’ll all be gone.

I may not be on a mountain top, but I am growing. I’m at peace and I trust in my Saviour. And I know things will get better.

It isn’t easy, but that’s okay. I have my Saviour with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment