What is it about trials that can either leave us bitter or better?
The answer lies entirely in our perception and how we choose to react to unexpected struggles, mistakes, failures, and trials that come into our lives. While no one rejoices in hardships, we can still find joy and peace in our lived at any given moment.
Elder Dale G. Renlund recently shared on Facebook how we can best use our trials and mistakes to boost us heavenward instead of letting them push us downward:
I spent some time during our summer break time reading C. S. Lewis’s "The Great Divorce." I was intrigued by much of what I read. One quote in particular that I have continued to ponder is:
“[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say ‘Let me but have this and I’ll take the consequences’: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say, ‘We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,’ and the Lost, ‘We were always in Hell.’ And both will speak truly.”
Rather than have our mistakes, disappointments, struggles, and trials push us “downward,” we can use them to help us build toward heaven. That is what it means to come unto Christ. As we allow His atoning sacrifice to redeem us, heal us, and strengthen us, we become what we came to earth to become.