By Alison Satterwhite
“Adversity can make you strong.” I read those words in an ad campaign as a young woman and they have stuck with me ever since. At times, it is hard to accept our lot and trials in life. Seeing the forest through the trees can take a seasoned veteran, and in a moment of difficulty, can literally seem impossible. The reality is, what feels like a huge encumberance is truly only a blip on the eternal spectrum of our lives. “This too, shall pass”, my mom use to say.
Over the years, I have learned that these experiences are often, like childbirth. Through that process, I learned that most pain and suffering lasts but a moment on the continuum of time, and then one is left with a beautiful gift. The gift is that of enormous strength, courage, understanding and compassion. Incredibly, after experiencing this process even once, we are more prepared and willing to take it on again and again. And as with anything in life, embracing, rather than avoiding challenges, can ease their harsh nature.
The unexpected “loss” of my first husband taught me that if we are patient enough to wait upon the Lord and increase our faith–our very hope and belief in His mercy and hand over all–we can come out on the other side. Even victoriously. I am so grateful for his “tender mercies” and know that he hears and answers our prayers, especially in our greatest hour of need. He strengthened me to endure, bestowed the gift of emotional healing upon me, provided temporally, and eventually righted a horrible wrong by blessing me with my “now” family. His yoke is truly easy, His burden light. Surely the comfort of the scriptures and sincere prayer can give immense relief in great sorrow:
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.
~Jesus, teaching the Nephites on the American Continent
“the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men”.
~David Bednar, an apostle
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
~Jesus Christ, as quoted by John