Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Source of Strength

What is it that gives us strength? What is it that makes it possible to go from one hard moment to the next? For everyone, it is different. I know that sometimes the thing that keeps me going is the warm embrace of my husband or soft hand of my child. Other times, it is a feeling of being carried through hard times. The whole “Footprints in the Sand” thing. Then there are times when God touches my heart through the music in the spring air or the quiet of a star filled night. Strength comes from living out one day at a time, a sense of accomplishment that I actually made it through another day.

But mostly, strength comes from my Savior. If I ask Him for it.

The story is told by Corrie ten Boom in “The Hiding Place” of her and her father taking train rides. Her father would give her the ticket, just as they were boarding, just in time for when she needed it. Corrie compared this to the strength we have in the face of trials. If we turn to our Father, He will give us strength, through the Savior, just when we need it. Just when our trials are too much to bear.

I have known amazing people. Many who have struggled with trials I am overcome just thinking about. And yet, they get through. They have the strength they need, at the time they need it.

I have a friend who is sicker than most people can dream of becoming while pregnant. On more medicine than I even knew existed to help pregnant women. But from her eludes a strength that does not come from her mortal self. A strength that can only come from Divinity.

Another friend of mine has born all things in her marriage. Troublesome from the start, she has stood with a strong back in the face of adversity. Patience and loving beyond comprehension. Forgiving. Her strength has kept her family together. But she could never have that strength alone. It came from God Himself. And I watched her as she struggled. Praying. Never faltering. Where does that kind of faith come from?

Still, another friend of mine held in her arms her stillborn child while her faith was firm in the goodness of God. Another ached for years to hold her own child at all. A dear friend of mine strengthens each of her adult children in turn, sharing her faith. Her love. Somehow drawing on a reserve she doesn’t believe she has.

I have a friend to faithfully prays for the day when her husband will come to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and their family can be sealed forever. She is such an example to me of child like faith. So honest.

I have a friend that was sexually abused and has done everything in her power to stop the cycle and provide a life that is better for her own children. Another friend struggles with miscarriages and infertility. Another with more babies than arms, and still she finds strength to give heartfelt service.

A different friend struggles with the newness of a new found religion. Ours. One that takes a complete lifestyle change. And through it, her heart is full of love for her Savior. And her desire is only to do right. I have friends that don’t know where the next meal is going to come from or how they are going to pay for an expensive medical procedure. Friends that face life threatening diseases. Friends whose children have turned their backs on all that is good. Friends who battle depression and other mental illnesses.

I have friends that struggle. Have hard times.

When I look at my problems, they seem quite insignificant. I know we are told not to compare our trials, but we all do it. And I am thankful for mine.

I look at the strength that comes from each of these beloved people in my life and I wonder how they gain that strength. What feeds their faith?

The answer, the only answer, is the power from the Atoning Sacrifice of our Savior. He is the strength. Through him, we can gain the wholeness we long for. The peace we crave. He gives us that strength, like the train ticket, the moment we need it.

I am so grateful for the examples of strength I have in my life.

6 comments:

Erin said...

That was a very nice testimony. I think all of us have endured one of these things you list. On the surface, people just don't know which one. It makes me have more compassion for people, to know that I don't know what they have gone through in their lives. Especially when their faith is still strong. Thank you for sharing this.

Heatherly said...

wonderful

CB and Jenn Allen said...

I have tears! I love this post, Kathy!!

What a beautiful testimony!!

Thanks for sharing so freely.

That Girl in Brazil said...

Fantastic post. Very well written and heartfelt - and true!

P.S. I LOVE your angel blog, too! You're the perfect antidote to today's saddies.

That Girl in Brazil said...

Psst. I tried following you, and you don't have a feed?

threehappyhansens@yahoo.com said...

I am grateful for the source of strength that you are to me! What would we do with out the knowledge of our Saviour and the other people we have been blessed with in our lives?