When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shake it off and step up

I have discovered that everyone of us eventually goes through hard times.  I believe that we are here to be tested and tried and that, somehow, whatever we go through in this life will help us as we go on into the next one.  It is by the struggle that we find our worth.  It is through our trials that we become closer to our Heavenly Father.  So, how do we endure to the end?  What does it really mean?  Is it suffering in silence?  It sometimes can seem so overwhelming!  Does that mean that we are enduring just for today, this week, next week, or is it possibly years down the road?  What exactly does it mean to endure to the end, and how can we possibly do such a thing?
Enduring to the end is not an easy task. It is intended to be difficult, challenging, and, ultimately, refining as we prepare to return to live with our Father in Heaven and receive eternal blessings.

In the October 1993 Ensign Stephan E. Robinson has an article titled "Enduring to the End" which offers some perspective on this phrase. He talks about what it means and how we endure.
Sometimes I have thought of the word endure as meaning "getting through" afflictions and trials. While that is a part of it, Brother Robinson says, "The fact is that enduring affliction is only a small part of what “enduring to the end” means.  Most frequently, the scriptures use the term endure to mean to last, to continue, or to remain, rather than to suffer".  Isn't that a new thought for you.
I have always equated enduring with suffering!  For me, this article was so eye opening.  I have had to look at the term "to endure" in a different manner than I have ever looked before.  To endure means so much more than hurt, pain, and sadness.  It is to continue in the path that we adopted at baptism by keeping our commitments to Christ, until the end of our mortal life.
What a positive way to feel about enduring to the end.  We commit to Christ and then continue with that commitment. We make covenants and then keep them.  We learn the commandments and than obey them.
In addition, Brother Robinson says, there are other component parts of remaining faithful to our covenants these include:

  • Looking unto Christ 
  • Taking upon us the name of Christ 
  • Feasting upon the words of Christ 
  • Pressing forward in steadfastness, hope, and love 
  • Following the example of Christ 
  • Worshipping the Father in the name of Christ
  • Being patient in afflictions and humble in repentance
Notice that the common focus of all of these component parts is loyalty to Jesus Christ.  It is only through Him that we are able to fully endure to the end.

I found this great story that reminded me of what enduring means.  I hope that it also motivates you.  Sometimes, I think enduring is simply being able to find a different solution to the problem.  It is being able to see more clearly what it is that you should do.  It is shaking off the dirt of the world and looking toward the light and trusting that you will be able to do what is necessary.  Remember that your Heavenly Father wants you to do more than just suffer.  He wants what is best for you.  He wants you to have joy.  He wants you to come back home to Him.

The Donkey and the Well
One day a farmer's donkey fell into a well. The farmer frantically thought what to do as the stricken animal cried out to be rescued. With no obvious solution, the farmer regretfully concluded that as the donkey was old, and as the well needed to be filled in anyway, he should give up the idea of rescuing the beast, and simply fill in the well. Hopefully the poor animal would not suffer too much, he tried to persuade himself.

The farmer asked his neighbours help, and before long they all began to shovel earth quickly into the well. When the donkey realised what was happening he wailed and struggled, but then, to everyone's relief, the noise stopped.

After a while the farmer looked down into the well and was astonished by what he saw. The donkey was still alive, and progressing towards the top of the well. The donkey had discovered that by shaking off the dirt instead of letting it cover him, he could keep stepping on top of the earth as the level rose. Soon the donkey was able to step up over the edge of the well, and he happily trotted off.

Life tends to shovel dirt on top of each of us from time to time. The trick is to shake it off and take a step up.  Remember that it is not the trial that is important.  It is what you have done with it that matters in the end.   It is what you have learned from the experience.  It is whether you have stepped from the darkness and into the light.

1 comment:

  1. That donkey story is one of my husband's favorites. I do think about it sometimes when I start feeling buried by problems. I just remember that I need to shake it off and step up! I'm going to go read that Ensign article. I don't remember it and it sounds great.