It’s raining this morning, and as I watch the tears fall from the heavens, it seems to match my mood. The last two weeks have been a struggle for me. I have learned that this roller coaster ride through grief has periods like this. No matter what I do, I cannot escape these periods of sorrow and suffering. This has caused me to ponder on the purpose of suffering this morning…
I know that to access that healing power that I have to turn to Him by…
- studying His word,
- repenting and then
- acting on the things that I know to be true.
I have many times felt the relief that comes through doing those four things. In fact, it is why I share what I am learning with others. When I reach out, as He did, to those who are suffering, then I get His peace in return. He blesses me with that as I go about doing His work…”mourning with those that mourn” and “lifting up the hands which hang down, and strengthening the feeble knees.”(Mosiah 18:9, D&C 81:5)
Yet today and the past two weeks that peace has been harder to find. There have been moments of relief, but the enablement and peace that I search for has been pulled just out of my reach it seems.
I feel like I am on a bike ride through the hills of the Ozarks. It’s either uphill or downhill with very little flat. Right now, I am in an uphill stretch, and I think I have forgotten how hard those are. Having just finished a two months of downhill period, where everything seemed easy…
I was lifted.
The answers flowed.
I felt direction.
I felt healing and peace.
But I suppose I can’t ride downhill for ever, and for every time of ease there must be a time of greater testing…
to stretch me…
to keep me grounded…
and to help me retain empathy and understanding for others who struggle more than I do.
Having this understanding maybe makes it all a little easier to bear. When I see a purpose, when I know that I am learning and in the long run it will help my character and help me to be of better use to Him, then I know that I can push through the dark, finish climbing that hill because another downhill awaits.
Fortunately God knows what we can handle and He doesn’t give us more than we can handle with His help. I add that last part, because I think He does give us more than we can handle by ourselves. It is that over burdening that makes us turn to Him. When we realize it is too much to do on our own, then we are willing to yoke up with Him so that He can help us pull our load. (Matt 11:29)
So another purpose of suffering is the incentive that it is for us to turn our hearts and wills back to God. In fact, the quicker and more easily we do that, the quicker the relief comes.
“When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that comes from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love.” -Richard G. Scott
As I am schooled though this process, I see and feel the periods of support that help me move forward and learn how to better act on the things I know to be true. I also see and feel the pain of the phases of enlargement as that help is pulled back…almost as a carrot before a horse. Having tasted the sweetness of the help, I am coached to continue to take those steps in the dark or to peddle the last part of the hill on my own.
I know that the “pull back” helps me to grow, but it is still hard to like these periods of enlargement. No one likes the last few sets of lifting weights that the coach urges you to complete when you are sure there is no more in you…
but it is those sets that make the difference in the training…
it is not the easy ones in the begging, but the ones that push you to the brink.
The rain is still falling and I know that I need to get on my knees, spend sometime studying and get moving again. I do not know when the relief will come, but I am going to act in faith that it will come.
it always has before,
and when it does, it is always worth that final push up the hill.
For More study:
I highly recommend these previous posts… I went back and restudied them today.
Richard G Scott, “Trust in the Lord“