Monday, August 26, 2013

Trials and Potential

So this past week I have done a lot of traveling and we got to meet Elder Giddens of the Seventy, cool eh?? It seems like a lot of my study and training has been centered around the same message, and I would love to share that with you. Please read, and don't write anything off because it comes from a missionary.

I've been thinking a lot about trials and how we handle them. I've also been thinking a lot about how God expects us to handle them. Sometimes they are two very different things.
Sometimes we can see the blessings at the end of our trials, and sometimes we can't even understand why we've been given them.
Sometimes we think that if we pray hard enough, God will relieve us of our trials. Sometimes it's that easy. Just an act of faith.
Sometimes it's not.
Sometimes, God tells us "No, I cannot take this trial from you, not because I don't love you, but because I love you too much to limit your potential.

We need our trials, without them we would be weak! Physically, when we are sick and weak we are not happy. We are much more confident in ourselves when we are healthy and strong. God helps us to be strong, so that we can have that happiness and confidence, and ability to perform more because of our strength.
He knows our potential. Like a good personal trainer He helps us build up our muscles. He gives us only what we can handle, but enough to make us sweat, to make us stretch ourselves past what we think our limits are. We don't stop doing pushups when we start to get tired. We do those pushups until our arms feel like they're going to fall off! That is how we become stronger.
Sometimes we are only asked to do 5 more pushups, sometimes its 500 more. What I have come to understand is, God doesn't like comfort zones.
Do we trust our Trainer? Do we perform what is asked of us? Do we beg for Him to let us take a break, or do we quit entirely? Quitters are weak. They will never grow, and they will never fullfil their potential.
The purpose of our life here on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures tell us: "wait upon the Lord".
What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? The word 'wait' means to 'hope', 'to anticipate', and 'to trust'; to endure to the end, "with great diligence and patience".
We may not understand our trials, we may still have reason to ask: "O God, where art Thou?" We may be as Job, who lost all his possessions, his land, home, animals, family, reputation, physical health, and even mental well-being. Yet he waited upon the Lord and bore a powerful testimony: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” 
Sometimes, life just sucks! It is incredibly hard. We feel like our arms are going to fall off at any second. But I know that you are not alone, your arms are still intact, you may not recognize it, but Christ is right there next to you, and he is pretty buff because he's done this workout before. He won't let you fall!
Dont leave the gospel when times get tough! We may feel weak, but we are never alone.
I love you too much to limit your potential.
~Sister Karely Madsen

photo of entire mission with Elder Anderson

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