One of my favorite poems is by Robert Browning Hamilton. It describes my life pretty well. We all would like to walk with pleasure. However, some of our greatest learning and experience comes from out times of walking with Sorrow.
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.
With all the differences in our lives, we have at least one challenge in common. We all must deal with adversity. It is there, all around us. Each one of us has to endure it. There may be periods, sometimes long ones, when our lives seem to flow by with little difficulty. But, sooner or later, comfort gives way to distress, periods of good health come to an end, and misfortunes arrive. When the comfortable times have gone on for a while, the arrival of suffering or the loss of security can bring fear and sometimes even anger.
The anger comes, at least in par,t from a feeling that what is happening is unfair. We want things to be good, for ourselves and also those we love. We believe that we deserve good things. When we are doing the things that are right, it is easy to feel like life is treating us unfairly. We develop a feeling of injustice about our circumstances. I have heard (and uttered) the question more that once, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? How could this happen?”
That aching for an answer to “How could this happen?” becomes even more painful when those struggling include those we love; our children and our loved ones, our families and our friends. It is especially hard for us to accept when those afflicted seem to us to be blameless, an innocent child or a loving daughter or son. The distress from this type of trial can shake faith in the reality of a loving and caring God. Doubt can grow and spread until some may even turn away from God. They may say that he is indifferent, cruel or unloving to His children here upon the earth. And if unchecked, those feelings can lead to loss of faith that there is a God at all.
How can we find peace in this world? How can we endure to the end? How can we overcome the difficulties and trials we are facing?
The Savior Jesus Christ said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
As part of our earth life, we pass through affliction, pain, and disappointment. Only in Jesus Christ can we find peace. He can help us to be of good cheer and to overcome all the challenges of this life. He can help us as we journey with sorrow for a time. He can help us to learn what we need to learn so that we can become who He needs us to become.
Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace?
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice
I draw myself apart, searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, Where,when I languish
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.
May you overcome you adversity and afflictions through the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May you find hope in His promises and endure to the end. Most of all, may you recognize that He truly loves you and will bring peace.