The Saviors experience in the Garden of Gethsemane is one that is hallowed and reverenced by all believers. Though I am always overwhelmed with gratitude for what Christ has done for me, there are moments in life that make it a bit more personal and a bit more relatable. To imagine a man who was acquainted with grief and who bled at every pore is difficult without experiencing or witnessing suffering ourselves. It is hard to relate and feel gratitude for something we cannot imagine.
This past week I found myself in a position that has become fairly routine to me. I sat waiting in a doctors office with my eyes zeroed in on Instagram and Snapchat, not paying attention to what was going on around me. This day though, I was pulled away from my own personal little world by the cries of the man in the room next to me. It started low and quiet and built with fervor. It was clear that whoever the sounds of anguish were coming from was in great pain. My heart broke as I heard the man express fear for his life and the desire he had to stay alive with his wife. He was pleading and begging and yelling in hopes that someone would take this burden from him. He kept saying that no body understood the pain, and that it was so unbearable he MUST be dying. He needed someone to save him.
Never before had I heard someone in so honest a moment. Though I have watched people suffer, it is usually quietly with a fair amount of bandaids already covering their wounds so that I don't see their most shattered selves. But here in this room, where all I could hear was a grown man's torn voice in genuine agony, I wanted nothing more than to run into him and to hold his hand and to tell him that everything would be ok. I wanted him to know how sorry I was that he was so sick and that I understood even to the smallest extent what he was going through and that there is always hope, because we have a Savior.
This man was in the next room and I couldn't bear to hear him in the pain he was in. I couldn't imagine watching the Savior experience that trial, plus my trial, plus your trial, plus everyone else's trials. In Conference yesterday James J. Hamula said, "His body bore an anguish significant enough to bleed at every pore." We hear this often, but think about it.
Think about the pain. Think how much he must love each of us. Think of how much he has done to Atone for our sins. Think of how he understands us because he has experienced what we have experienced.
No body in that doctors office that day had the power to take disease totally away from him right there in that moment, but the Savior can in fact shoulder some of the difficulty. I've felt him take some of my load, and give me more strength to bear it. In his plea for relief, and in the plea's for relief we hear around the world we can help them by letting them know that there is a "balm in Gilead." That there is a Savior who has good things in store for us if we can hold on a little longer.
During a particularly difficult day this week Lucy sent me a quote that hit home in more ways than I can express. It said....
Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.
Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful. The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process.
The Lord loves each of us.
He has engraven us upon his hands.
He will always remember us, because we each live there in his scars.
Lets try our best to never forget him.
To never take his sacrifice for granted.
In every burden we bear we can understand better His sacrifice.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,