In church I taught the girls in my class about adversity.
This is a tough one for me,
which is why I think I decided to study it and then teach it, again. I need to keep reminding myself so I can wrap my brain around this one.
I know we need it.
I know it’s part of our mortal experience.
I know why we have to go through hard things, I just don’t like it.
“As part of Heavenly Father’s plan.., you experience adversity during mortality. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress as you turn to the Lord.” -True to the Faith. Paraphrasing: Adversity comes from different sources, consequences from disobedience, as a natural part of life, because of others’ poor choices.
I have been struggling with and watching others deal with all of the challenges of life. It is “a hard knocks life” to quote Annie. So much sorrow, so much selfishness, and dishonesty. So much hurt, and pain.
I recently heard of a terrible incident where a man accidentally killed his own son while target practicing. The young son had a wife and two children. Tragic. Their lives will never be the same. How does someone go on after that?
If you look, you can find all sorts of devastating news about how this or that happened and their life is changed forever. There are evil people, famines, and natural disasters all over the world. So much adversity.
According to True to the Faith- We can complain and become bitter, and let thoughts of “why me?” dominate our thoughts, or we can ask our Father in Heaven to help us learn what He would have us learn, and remember our many blessings. Sometimes if the adversity is illness, we may have to simply be patient and faithful. If our adversity is because of another’s words or actions, we need to work toward forgiveness. Maybe, if it is abuse we need to seek help.
“Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trial, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.” Alma 36:3
One of my favorites stories is about Corrie ten Boom. She and her family were put in a concentration camp during World War II, because they hid Jews from the Nazi’s. Miraculously they were able to keep a small Bible with them in their barracks. For some time the Nazi soldiers would avoid checking on them. They later found out that the soldiers were avoiding them because the barracks was infested with fleas. Corrie’s sister Betsie had encouraged Corrie to give thanks for everything, even the fleas. Corrie had a hard time with this, until she found out that it was because of the fleas that they were able to read their Bible. In the book that tells their story it says,
“like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.” -The Hiding Place.
In the most horrible circumstances they were able to learn from their experiences, and become close to God. They were able to remember blessings.
Neil L Andersen said, “In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return.
You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead.”
I told the girls in my class that if we do what the trees that live in a windy environment do, if we help our spiritual roots to grow faster and deeper when faced with a challenge by developing our testimony of the Savior and having faith in God’s plan for us, and become thicker and more flexible by staying close to the Lord and His word, we will make it through the challenges and adversity that we will face in our lives.
I am amazed how many times I have had to learn this. I guess I’m still learning and always will be. I will focus on the lesson in life, what God is trying to teach me. I will “receive all things with thankfulness” and become the woman God is leading me to become.
Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy