Tuesday, May 20, 2008

WHEN UPON LIFE'S BILLOWS YOU ARE TEMPEST TOSSED, WHEN YOU ARE DISCOURAGED THINKING ALL IS LOST....

I was reading Inkling's blog the other day about her "horrible, very bad day.." and it made me start thinking about a talk on CD that I had been listening to. This is a talk by S. Michael Wilcox called, "The Fourth Watch". This is an excellent talk and I would recommend it to anyone. Inklings was talking about how she has had more than her share of trials in her life, and I agree with her. Do you ever see someone with a lot of trials and wonder why that person has had to go through so much? I had a friend who died of complications of diabetes a few years ago. She had been a diabetic since a child and as an adult her kidneys gave out and she had to go on dialysis. Before she died, some friends went over to her house several times and got her to tell her life story so they could tape it for her grandkids. They asked me to type it up for the grandkids, and the weird thing about it was that the day I finally decided to start typing it up was the day she died. I had been working on it for about 3 hours and had stopped for a break and got the phone call that she had died. As I typed up her life story, I was able to see how hard a life she had. How unfair it was! I cried as I read that story because I thought life was so unfair to her! She had a hard life as a child because of a mother who was unfit, and she was put into a foster home with her two brothers. In fact she said it wasn't until she went into a foster home that she finally understood what a "real life" was supposed to be. At the time I knew her, she had been on dialysis for about 10 years.

So why are some people burdened with harder trials than others? In this talk by S. Michael Wilcox, he quotes Shakespear. In Richard III, Elizabeth, the former queen hears about the death of both of her sons by Richard III. She looks to heaven and exclaims, "Wilt thou, O God, fly from such gentle lambs, and throw them into the entrails of the wolf? When didst thou sleep when such a deed was done?"

And then another quote from Shakespear from MacBeth, when McDuff hears his family has been killed by MacBeth. McDuff looks to heaven and cries, "And did heaven look on and would not take their part."

The talk is entitled "The Fourth Watch" because it talks about how the Lord comes to us in our trials in the "fourth watch", or in other words, near or at the end of the trial. In Genesis, when Haggar was in the wilderness, she had run out of water and she had sat her child under a shrub and lifted up her voice and wept to the Lord saying, "Let me not see the death of the child." "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water: and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink." Why did the Lord wait until the water was completely gone and Haggar had prepared to die?

In the Book of Mormon, Jacob tells the parable of the Olive Trees. He talks about the poor spots of the vineyard and that the Lord nourishes those spots. The poor spots bring forth good fruit BECAUSE the Lord nourishes these spots. Even the poorest spot of the vineyard STILL brought forth good fruit, because the Lord nourished those spots. The poor spots of the vineyard represent people who have more than their share of trials.

I think the Lord prepares us for the kind of trials we have in this life. If we were to all meet together and heap our trials upon a big pile and have the opportunity to pick out new trials, we would look at all the other trials that other people have brought, and then pick our own back out of the pile.

Sometimes we have to step back and look at our trials from another perspective. The Lord knows us. He knows what kinds of trials to give us in this life to help make us into the kind of people He would want us to be. I know of people who can actually say they are thankful for the trials in their lives. I don't know if I'm actually at that point, but I can say that I am thankful for the things I have learned FROM those trials. I shudder to think of the kind of person I would be without the trials in my life.

And to Inklings... I am in awe of the things you have done in your life, and the trials that you have had. I don't know why you have to go through these things, but I do know that the Lord would not give these trials to you if He did not think you could handle them. I know that you have a testimony of this gospel. I hope you know how much the Lord loves you. He would not give you trials, if He did not love you. When our trials are caused by other people's misdeeds, it is even a harder thing to bear. Too often these people think, "It's my life, I can do what I want." But what they forget is that their actions cause sorrow and trials for everyone around them. I wish I knew how to help you better, but I don't. All I know to do is to tell you that I love you, that I pray for you always, and that I always keep your name in the temple. Also know that I am always there if you need anything at all - just call.

3 comments:

Stace-Ghost said...

Wow, great blog. When I was growing up I really thought I had a horrible life. I suffered through death, divorce, and sibling drug addiction while my friends seemed not to have any trials at all. It wasn’t until I joined the church that I really became grateful for all those trials. I learned so much about myself, my family, and life in general that I actually became more well rounded and better able to handle what life throws at me today. I wouldn’t have wanted to live my life any other way. Trials are so difficult when you are in the moment but you are right, Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows what we can handle. He will always take care of us.

gilbert girl said...

Our trials show us and the Lord who we are. Do we stay strong in the gospel or do we "curse God and die?" It is when we are being tried that we are able to see how strong our testimony is and what areas need improvement.

Inside Stories said...

Well, that made me cry, but thank you for that, and I love you, too.