Monday, July 13, 2015

Battles

Let's face it: life is hard. We each have very unique trials that nobody else but God knows. To us, our trials loom like a Goliath. We get weighed down by everything happening around us, and sometimes even wonder if God might be near. We wonder why nobody seems to reach out to us.

If we step back for a minute, we realize that the previous paragraph resonates with us. And that's just it: us. We all go through painful tribulations, attempting to hearken to our God, but feeling constantly beat down by the storms of life. We rarely pause for a moment to think that just about how everyone else around us is going through the same thing.

Especially in America, personal feelings are meant for our closest friends and family, so we rarely open up. While, in some cases, that should change, the likelihood of that changing in the near future is close to nothing. As disciples of Christ, therefore what? How do we live up to our baptismal covenant to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort?

Obviously, we become friends with people, and when we get close enough, we start opening up, but that is not enough. There is no possible way on this planet we will become extremely close friends with every person we contact. What can we do?

Treat everyone as if they are fighting a battle.

For example, if we are in middle school, and a kid snaps at us for moving his instrument because it was in the way of our locker, we can either retaliate, fume over it, or let it go. Well, if all we saw was a kid getting a little agitated over something so minor, we may retaliate and lay into him; however, if we knew someone had stolen his instrument before, or he was in a rush to get home so he could see his mother in the hospital, we'd be more apt to respond with kindness.

That is one small example from one time in my life, I'm sure you can make many other great examples from your life. As difficult as it is to train yourself to think like this, it's even more difficult to do so when we ourselves have a battle raging. That is the ultimate expression of divinity though: treating others as if they are fighting a battle, when we ourselves are in a battle.

The Savior in Gethsemane and on the road to Calvary was fighting the hardest battle ever fought in the history of mankind. Every last weapon in Satan's arsenal was leveled against Him to stop the Atonement, yet in the midst of that battle, He healed the ear of the High Priest's servant; He made sure His mother had care; He forgave the Romans who crucified Him.

Many of us have had the pain of getting a cut, and that hurts enough: imagine having an organ cut off. It would hurt like no other pain we'd ever felt. I'm sure that servant was mostly there because his master sent him. The thoughts racing through his mind may have been along the lines of "I should have called in sick" or anything like that. Yet, as great as that agony was, Christ was suffering greater pain. He just had blood ooze out of his pores, that would require exorbitant amounts of hemorrhaging. Yet His thoughts were with the servant.

Regardless of how big or small your battle may seem: serve others in the midst of it. Chances are, they are in the midst of one too.