Today I read Alma 38, Alma's words to his son Shiblon. He gives some good counsel to his son, but it is also considerably shorter than what he says to his other two sons. I believe this may be because of Shiblon's faithfulness, based on what Alma says to him.
The part that resonates with me, is when Alma mentions the adversities Shiblon suffered at the hands of the Zoramites and the fact that he did not revile against them. But rather he bore it all with patience and gave Alma much joy. He mentions that the reason Shiblon could do that is because the Lord was with him.
This reminds me very much of the old poem, footprints in the sand. Where a man has a dream that he is walking along a beach with the Savior and is upset because at times there is only one set of footprints visible, and it was during the most rough parts of his life. When he asks the Savior why he left him just when he needed him most, the Savior replied that those were the times that He had carried the man.
I've had times like that, times where I was faced with something and I wasn't sure how I could get through it, or when I look back at it, I don't know how I did get through it. I had one of those moments just a week or so ago actually. I woke up in such pain as I have never felt before in my life and it went on, and on, and on. It was a very difficult day, and I truly believe the Lord was with me, helping me get through it.
It can be a challenging thing to rely on the Lord though, to relinquish that control over your life and leave it up to Him. The hardest time I had with it was when I wanted to get married so badly. I was looking everywhere, trying everything I could think of. And yet, I kept receiving blessings saying marriage was being withheld for a reason and I just needed to be patient, that it was so close. I'm sad to say that I didn't so much as relinquish control to Him as I did give up in bitterness. That was one challenge in my life, of my own making even, that I could have handled so much better. But I am human and fallible. I make mistakes with the best of them.
The really sad thing that occurs to me as I sit here and think about it, is how many of our trials are of our own making. Our sins and the effects of sin are completely of our making. Our shortcomings as people, most of them anyway, are of our own making. We are commanded to rely upon God and turn to him to help us with our weaknesses. Per Ether 12:26 we are given weaknesses for the express purpose of getting us to come to God.
The funny thing about trials though, is yes they do stretch us, but they are perfect for us and usually when we hear about other people's trials we begin to realize how good out life really is. I am one of those lucky people without many trials, it makes me worried that maybe I'm not living a righteous enough life and so Satan is not concentrating enough on me :p, my wife says it's not that I don't have trials, I'm just really adept at forgetting the harsh moments of my life. Since I can't remember, I can't tell if she's right or not. LOL. Nevertheless, I digress. Our trials are perfect for us and usually just what we can handle. Yes sometimes we see other people's "trials" and complain that why can't we have that trial, or want to shake our head in disgust that someone is having trouble with that.
And then there are those people that tell you about their life and you just blanch in horror and wonder how they ever got through it and thank the Lord that your life is so easy. But regardless of what our trials are, we need to rely upon the Lord and make Him our partner in all things. Then will we be able to accomplish all things and we can say as Paul did that we have fought the good fight. Until tomorrow.