Have you ever heard the saying that the rain falls on both the good and the bad? Or maybe you have read in the scriptures that God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). In other words, bad things happen to everyone. We are all going to experience heartache, sorrow, and trials.
It sounds a little disheartening, doesn’t it? “You mean to tell me that no matter what I do, sometimes I’ll have bad things happen to me?” you may ask. And the answer quite simply is… yes. Bad things will happen.
The good news is that you are not alone; we all face hard times. I have encountered more than one trying circumstance in my own life. Take a small moment in my high school experience for example.
I was always running late for my early morning cycling class, and since the high school didn’t actually own any cycling machines, we met at the back parking lot and then took a bus over to the community college. If you missed the bus, you missed the class.
Well, like I said, I had an awful habit of running late. I would park my car across the street from the school and then sprint to the bus with my hair streaming behind me and my backpack slung haphazardly over my shoulders. Usually, I barely made it with no time and no breath to spare.
There was one morning, however, where I did not make it. I remember hurtling across the parking lot toward the bus, but it was already pulling away. Then it turned the corner and was gone.
Our teacher had told us that if we ever missed the bus, we were to go to the office and they would send us to the library to do some research on exercising. It honestly didn’t sound too bad, so I turned around and headed for the office. But after I had told my story to the staff, they told me that I would not be going to the library to do research after all. Instead, I would be going to the boy’s body development class and working out on the single, ancient cycling machine they had in there.
Now, maybe some girls would have enjoyed this punishment, but I was a skinny, small, unpopular girl in high school and saying that I had to go to the boy’s body development class was like telling me I had to go publicly humiliate myself in front of the whole school. I remember walking into the class with all those guys looking at me. I walked past them to the cycling machine, trying hard not to make eye contact with any of them. And then I began my cycling session of humiliation, fully aware of how idiotic I looked sitting there in their class spinning away on that old bike.
And then, amidst the utter disgrace I felt, I suddenly remembered the scripture that says, “behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34: 32). Now, I didn’t think of this scripture because I was laboring on that cycling machine. I thought of it because I remembered that in that scripture, life is compared to a day. It says “the day of this life.”
Then I thought, “Well, if one whole lifetime can be compared to a day, just think of how short this moment is!” Immediately, I felt comforted. I suddenly realized that this anguishing moment would one day just be a miniscule piece in my life’s vast puzzle.
And guess what? I turned out to be right. That day cycling in front of all those guys is long gone.
The beautiful thing about adversity is that it does not have to last forever. If you choose to look to your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for comfort and help in overcoming whatever it is you are facing, your trial that at one time seemed overwhelming can one day be just a small piece in your life’s puzzle.
Whenever I think of this, I am reminded of one of my favorite scriptures that reads, “Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7).
It is wonderful and inspiring to remember that with the Lord’s help, our afflictions can be “but a small moment.” Trials will indeed come your way, but just because they come doesn’t mean they have to last forever.