The Pain of Sacrifice Lasts only for a Moment



 
Remembering this quote in those pivotal moments has often given me the extra energy to make a correct decision or to push through a period of trial or suffering. It is helps me to be patient with the learning process that involves the sacrifice of things that I want right now. 

The pain of sacrifice last only for a moment….
 
Then that moment is gone… 

It’s in the past.

Whatever pleasure I would have taken from the indulgence is over as well.

This relates to so many areas, but I see this a lot in my daily exercise.  
When I’m working out that hour is hard… 

I’m tired…

I hurt…

But when it’s over, I’m so glad that I did it! The pain is in the past; however, the rewards are in the future. 

Giving up the pleasure involved in what we want now in favor of sacrificing for what we want in the future is key to growth

When we finally realize that sacrifice does not last forever… 
that we can do anything for a fixed period of time… 
then the temptation to give up diminishes.  


We can develop a resolve to push through the period of sacrifice and to obtain the long-term blessings. Some efforts in our life are late harvests. 

I have found those efforts yield the sweetest fruit.

Waiting, sacrificing, suffering, and working until that harvest time takes patience, faith and trust in God, but it always yield amazing results. 

I am going to suggest something that on the surface seems completely backwards and crazy…

but…

hear me out, 

trust me, 

I promise it works!

If you will honestly and sincerely try it out, I promise you that you will see results.  

The next time you really feel down and are suffering, instead of “taking a break” or doing something for yourself like having a bowl of Ice cream or going shopping, sacrifice something new for a whole day.
   
Here is the principle that I have learned to be true…

Turning away from self opens you to receiving
 peace and light from God. 


Yesterday, after teaching my early morning class, I just felt blaaaah.  Just blue and sad and lousy.  I tried reading my scriptures like I normally do. I went to lunch with a friend and tried to cheer her up, but nothing was changing my mood. These are the things that I have learned to do regularly to keep that feeling of peace with me, but for some reason, yesterday peace was alluding me.  I racked my brain to see if there was something that I had done wrong that was causing the withdrawal of this feeling of peace.  I checked my motivations, my desires, my behavior and I couldn’t really find anything.  I prayed and I asked God to forgive me and to show me what I needed to change.  I thought about those things again and nothing major came to mind.  Then very quietly the thought came, you should fast.  

(For me, fasting is going without food and water for 24 hours.  I also try to devote more time to spiritual study during this period.  Fasting is very helpful in quieting my thoughts and subduing my desires so I can better be in tune with the Lord.)

But I had just fasted 2 days before, so I immediately tried to rationalize that thought away.  Even so, I didn’t eat or drink anything after lunch.  I continued arguing with myself about whether or not this idea was an actual prompting of the spirit. I called a friend and she suggested that maybe it was just “a bad day.”  But that just didn’t settle right.  I was still in a bad place when I picked my kids up from school, and so with no other recourse to change how I was feeling, I decided that it wouldn’t kill me to follow that thought. 

“Sacrifice only lasts for a moment….” 
 
or for less than 24 hours in this case.  
 

I told my kids that they were on their own for dinner and spent last night working on my seminary lessons and studying.  We had our family night lesson and family prayers.  I didn’t feel relief immediately, but before bed I noticed a slight difference.  This morning my lesson went amazingly well.  I had great conversations with two of my students discussing the lesson, and this whole blog post came while I was doing inclines on my tredmill. 

“The pain of sacrifice lasts for a moment.” 

The connection was back,

the peace was back,

and all it took was me humbling myself before God, asking Him what I was to change and then doing it.  

In the end, choosing to turn away from self by sacrificing gave me the peace I desired, plus a whole bunch of new understanding that I hope will not only benefit me, but many of you.

That help comes because we are turning away
 from self-pity and towards Him. 
 
It comes because we are using a trial as
 an opportunity for growth. 


So look out for an opportunity to try this out.  You may not be sacrificing food; maybe it will be tv or social media, maybe it will be a bad habit, but as you sacrifice, replace that thing or time with turning more to God.  Replace it with prayer, scripture study, service to others, quality one-on-one time with your kids. See if this helps you get through those hard times. 

I would love for you to share your experiences with this, so please post back.