Psalm 30:5 tells us that our “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
I am no stranger to weeping and sorrow. I was almost 16 when my older sister, Andrea, was killed in a car accident on her way back to her sophomore year of college. I have lived almost 40 years without her, and my greatest regret is that I didn’t write down more of the treasured memories that I had of her. But even in the heartache of her passing, I have felt her presence in my life. She has truly been my guardian angel and guide. Because of her passing my heart was turned.
It seems recently that there has been an increase of heartbreak that is touching so many people I know. Sweet Lora has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is undergoing treatment. The “C” word is a hard one for her family as they lost their son, Eric, to the disease 10 years ago. Jenn is newly diagnosed with dysautonomia. She is adjusting to life in a wheelchair but continues to have her cheery disposition to see the bright side of things. My best friend from high school, Scott, and his wife still feel the sting of death since their son and his cousin were tragically killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver who was on the wrong side of the highway. Mason had just returned from Argentina where he had been serving a church mission for two years. He had only been home one week.
I have such empathy for all of these amazing people who are enduring hard things and compassion for all those who have similar circumstances, for all those whose hearts are breaking. I have learned that true comfort and peace in our adversity comes through our Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows our anguish. He felt every bit of it in Gethsemane. He knows our deepest sorrows and how hard some days are.
God does not promise us that life will be easy or without trials, but He promises that as we turn to Him, and remember Him, we will find peace in our afflictions. In fact, He tells us to come unto Him with a “broken heart and contrite spirit.” He promises to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). This is the rescue. When we find ourselves in complete sadness and anguish, Christ is the source of comfort. We first need to make the turn, to face the Savior and reach out to Him to deliver us from our affliction. He doesn’t remove our trial or hardship, but He strengthens us and enables us to endure. I have lived a life with peace in my heart because of Jesus Christ, and instead of tears when I think of Andrea, my heart overflows with love and I smile as I remember her. Instead of living my life full of sadness, I have been able to live my life as a tribute to her. I know that the joy and peace I feel comes from our loving Redeemer.
“Jesus suffered deeply because He loves us deeply! He wants us to … be converted so that He can fully heal us.
“When sore trials come upon us, it’s time to deepen our faith in God, to work hard, and to serve others. Then He will heal our broken hearts. He will bestow upon us personal peace and comfort. Those great gifts will not be destroyed, even by death.”
—Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer”
It is my prayer that all of you who are experiencing sorrow and grief will find comfort and hope in the loving arms of Jesus Christ, for it is He who suffered all things. “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands,” He said. He sacrificed all because of His great love for us. May you feel His extraordinary love and know you are not alone. May you be blessed with peace in your afflictions.
In faith and love,