Everyone will face a time in their lives where they must go through their own personal Gethsemane. I’m not talking about small issues that come up on a daily basis or talking about having a bad day or week. I’m not even talking about many of the larger problems or stresses that we all face in this probationary state we call life.
No, I’m talking about the very small number of times in our lives where we are on the brink of even living. Where everything in our life is going wrong. The moments that not only can we not see the way out, we can’t see anything at all. Those moments where we feel completely lost and alone. Those times where you spend countless hours shedding tears on an already soaked pillow. Those nights where you wake up as deeply sadden as you did going to bed. I’m talking about those very limited times where the easiest choice in front of us may appear to be to just give up.
So what do we do in these situations? Where do we turn? How do we move on? The easy Sunday School answer is to turn to Christ. Remember that Sunday School answers are the right answers, they just lack depth in their responses. So let’s delve a little deeper.
There are simply going to be times in our lives where no one else around us can perfectly understand the trials and tribulations that we are personally facing no matter how good their intentions may be. There are just going to be times where we fall on our knees pleading for help because we have nowhere else to go and nowhere else to look but up. It’s during these moments, almost out of necessity, that often times we start to receive a glimpse of His infinite and perfect love that God has for us.
These are the moments where our religion’s rubber meets the road. No more friendly platitudes in Relief Society, no more BYU/Utah jokes in Elder’s Quorum. These moments are where we need to know that God lives, that He hears us and that He loves us and we need to know them now.
As painful, hopeless and dark as these moments may be, often times they provide us with the spiritual experiences that are so incredibly personal, that our faith and testimony in this gospel truly does “come forth polished as gold.”
Such example could be like Ashlee’s story when she found out her husband was murdered and was cheating on her all in the same night and was left to raise five children by herself. Or Stephanie’s story where in 2008, her and her husband Christian were in a airplane crash and over 80% of her body was burned.
Both of these individuals not only survived their challenges, but have come forth through these trials as shining beacons of hope for the rest of us.
So many times in life we try to do everything on our own. Too prideful to accept or acknowledge that we need help. Remember that as we carry the various burdens we inevitably face in this life, it’s not the weight or size of the load that breaks us down but almost always the way we carry it.
Two amazing quotes from Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf concerning Christ’s involvement in our lives during our own personal Gethsemane
“Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, ‘Come unto me,’ He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.”
–Jeffrey R. Holland, Broken Things to Mend, April 2006
“My dear brothers and sisters, there will be days and nights when you feel overwhelmed, when your hearts are heavy and your heads hang down. Then, please remember, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, is the Head of this Church. It is His gospel. He wants you to succeed. He gave His life for just this purpose. He is the Son of the living God.”
– President Uchtdorf – October 2007 Have We Not Reasons to Rejoice
Remember that just like our Heavenly Father was keenly aware of the massive burden Christ was about to bear, He is just as aware of the challenges we are about to face (or are facing) in this life.
Just as Christ knew that His Father would be there for Him and that eventually the glorious Sunday morning would come to overcome any of the sorrows and pains felt just a few days earlier, we too will experience our own personal Sundays where everything comes full circle. We just need to be patient enough to allow God the opportunity to justify our faith in Him.
Christ’s love is not dependent upon yours. The abundance or lack of love you demonstrate towards Him or yourself, does not increase or diminish His. He loves you perfectly and fully. Your strengths do not increase His love and your weaknesses certainly does nothing to diminish it. The epitome of charity, being the pure love of Christ, was demonstrated during that hollowed night at Gethsemane.
Regardless of where we are at in our lives and the mistakes we may have made, the atoning power of Christ is here to provide us our own, incredibly personal story of redemption.