The Gift of Trials
Written By: Barbara Barrington Jones
Excerpt from Barbara’s book: “The Incredible Gifts of Women”
We all have things happen to us in our lives that bring us great sorrow, yet we spend our lives searching for the things that will make us happy. Over time I’ve learned that trials and sorrows can help us in our quest for happiness and teach us how to turn scars into stars. I once read a wonderful essay about a quest for happiness. It inspired me to adapt some of the thoughts:
The concept was based on a little girl riding a Ferris Wheel with her mommy by her side. The girl was absolutely thrilled and enthralled with the excitement of the ride. As she went way up into the air with the seat swaying back and forth, she listened to the music of the steam calliope and watched the twinkling colored lights that make a Ferris Wheel appear to be a veritable fairy land of joy and happiness. She squealed to her mother, “Mommy, isn’t this wonderful? Aren’t you happy?”
“Oh yes,” the mother answered with little or no feeling, for she was thinking of a travel poster advertising to her that happiness is certainly not here but is definitely in another place - far away.
Many of us seem to live our lives looking for happiness. That is not always a bad thing, but it can be if we continually believe that happiness is someplace else and not in the present. The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed!
Sometimes we think that we can get happiness from people, places, or things. If I could just meet this person, then I will be happy. If I could just get away and go to Hawaii on vacation, then I will be happy. If I could just afford to buy this outfit, then I will be happy…..Expecting to receive happiness from other people, places, and new things will never light up our lives. We actually already have the light within us that will give us everything we want. It is the light of Christ. It is always lit, always there. The secret of true happiness is when we let that Christlike light shine through us to others.
Whatever happens in our lives, we have the ability to choose our reaction to it.
You can be better or be bitter.
You can make your trials stumbling blocks or stepping stones.
My grandmother used to remind me that every trial has a silver lining. I believe that. One of those silver linings is that while we are going through hard times, we do not have to go through them by ourselves. We can turn to Christ. Jesus made us a promise that He would take our burdens. “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He truly understands our despair and pain. And He will ALWAYS be there.
It is our Lord and Savior who said, “Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many but endure them, for lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.” (Doctrine and Covenants 24:8)
With Christ by our side, it will be easier to endure, for He is the silver lining within our trials.