Early this morning I received a call from a friend for support in recovery. When I hung up I knew that this was not going to be an easy day in her recovery. It would be a day of physical withdrawal. I was fill with the feelings of, “If only there were something I could do so that her day might not be so difficult. I called the two local temples and had her name placed on the prayer roll. I too offered a prayer in her behalf and turned her over to the care of the Lord.
There is nothing more beautiful to me than a warm almost spring winter day. The sun shining on the snow packed mountains framed in sky-blue was irresistible to me. I took my bike out of hibernation, put on my serious biker helmet and gloves and took off. No gym for me today. I knew I didn’t have more that 45 minutes to ride and I wanted to get some good exercise so I headed downhill for fun knowing that once down the only way back home would be up.
Several times, as I pedaled along, I thought of my early morning call. Finally I’d had all the fun going downhill there was time for. I played around with the gears on my bike in hopes of adjusting them for a challenging ride up a very long, steep hill. Apparently God had something else in mind today, because I could not get my bike to shift into first gear no matter what I tried. I was very frustrated, but there was nothing to do but work with the middle gear and keep peddling. I tried the first gear again and again. I even offered up a little “Please fix my bike” prayer.
As I huffed and puffed and submitted to the reality of my condition my friend’s situation entered my mind once again. At that very minute I knew she was experiencing the excruciating side effects of withdrawal from drugs. At that moment I had the thought, “Nannette, it is not a bad thing to go through something hard. At the top of this hill you will be stronger than you were at the bottom. Likewise, at the end of the day your friend will have experienced something very challenging, but she will be stronger for it.
I know the Lord can and will lighten our burdens, but He doesn’t always provide us with “first gear” travel. Trusting God in all things means to proceed up the hill He has placed in my path no matter what gear I am required to use. Jesus speaks to the prophet Joseph in the middle of one of his most challenging climbs with these words, “…know thou, my son, that all these things shall give the experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7).
It’s critical to remember, when my own muscles, physical and spiritual, start to burn, or when my heart aches over the painful experiences people I love are passing through, that the Lord allows us to go through hard things for our good, for our growth, and for our increased strength. The Lord’s work is not to provide the easy way through this life, but the sure way Home.
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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