A few months ago, I was asked to serve in a volunteer role in my church congregation that opened my eyes more fully and made me more sensitive to the hardships those around me face. As I sought to offer guidance or wisdom to those traveling dark roads, I felt overcome with guilt. My guilt came as a result of feeling I couldn’t genuinely offer these individuals advice or support. I felt I couldn’t offer advice or support because if I were in their shoes, I would be praying my heart out to have their trials removed from me. I felt it was almost prideful of me to offer encouragement or advice to those whose trials I did not want to bear myself. I felt guilty for saying prayers of gratitude that included gratitude for blessings I knew others were desperately seeking but didn’t currently possess.
For many weeks I walked around with a heavy heart feeling I could not truly serve as God wanted me to because my heart was too weak to bear the trials of those I was asked to serve and support. One day as I was studying the scriptures, the thought came to me that God wasn’t asking me to walk the dark paths of each person I know, He was asking me to point them to the one person who could – Jesus Christ. In that moment, my gratitude for the Savior increased immensely as I realized more fully that He did something no one else on this earth could do – He suffered the pains of each one of us.
In the Book of Mormon we read, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12)
I’ve realized that just as Christ suffered to know us and to know how to help us, sometimes we must suffer to come to know Him. Below is a video of a song that has captured my heart and speaks of the value of suffering.
As I’ve stated in past blog posts, I feel my heart is weak because the thought of experiencing certain trials or struggles I see others experience makes my heart break. This Christmas season I am so thankful to celebrate the birth of the One who never leaves us comfortless and who has suffered for us so that He can truly walk with us when the road is dark. How thankful I am for Jesus Christ.
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