Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some Thoughts On Adversity.

There's a saying, we teach best what we most need to learn. Today I am both the learner and the teacher to myself. Rather bizarre, actually.

I received an email from Our Ladies Room saying that there was a reply to a thread I was following. I clicked on it because I didn't remember anything about it. As it turns out, I had written a reply on the thread W-A-Y back in May of 2009 about adversity. I must have been in a really good place, because as I read it I realized it was saying exactly what I needed to hear and had FORGOTTEN!!! So I decided to re-post it here on my blog so I could have it handy to read any time I was feeling stressed out and needed to remember FAITH. :D
You asked why things were so difficult, why were there so many roadblocks and obstacles if you have been correct in understanding the answer you received and this house is so right for you?

I think we sometimes have a mistaken idea that if something's right, it's going to therefore be easy, everything's going to fall into place, obstacles will be removed as if by miracle, etc. etc. We expect this --because it DOES happen often enough to justify the belief!--so when it doesn't happen, it's very confusing.

The thing is, and your experience illustrates, that it isn't always going to come easy. Sometimes we get the big, sure answers because the path ahead is going to be HARD and we need that witness to lean on when times get tough. It's like the porch light outside my house. I just found it on in the middle of the day. It isn't lighting much right now. The light it gives off appears very small indeed - I have to look directly at it to even notice that it's lit. Certainly it isn't needed in the bright light of the Arizona sunshine. But tonight I will be glad for that little light - it will be a beacon in the darkness when I need it to keep from tripping over my daughters' scooters and bikes they left in the walk way again.

I am reminded of how many times in the Book of Mormon we are told to remember all the great and marvelous things God has done for His children. I think we are given these undeniable witnesses of the Spirit just before difficult and trying times as a light to show the way when the obstacles remain. We just have to remember them, ponder them, immerse ourselves in the memory of the peace and light and joy we felt when the answer came, and lean on that when we bump up against stuff in the night.

Heavenly Father can't always remove the obstacles - how would we grow if we never had to fight through adversity? - but he does always provide comfort, strength and peace in the midst of adversity; and a way out, over and through the obstacles eventually (sometimes through means through to the other side of the veil, but that's okay too. We're all making that journey someday). I think the yes answers before the trials are part of that strengthening, and that peace He gives. It's a reassurance that He knew there were rough waters ahead, and He knew WE would need to know that HE knew. It's another way He is before us, beside us and in front of us in the midst of the battle. Why not before us, behind us and beside us in 'time' too? Comforting thought, especially because it's so true since where God is, time is no longer, and all things, all times, are present before him as one.

All of this is temporary anyway. Not our real home. :-) We're just away at boarding school taking courses for an advanced degree - How to be Like Mom and Dad. :-) Classes in patience (Gail, you named this one in your post!), longsuffering, pure love of Christ, service, sacrifice, prayer, hope, faith, virtue, holiness, obedience, etc. etc. etc. and we just keep going, each new experience bringing with it new opportunities to learn to be Christ-like.

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