What does it mean to endure? Is it to simply get by? Is it pushing through?
When I think of an endurance race, I think of suffering. Sweating, strain, and pain. I think of having to go past what I think I can do.
I believe that in life, we are racing an endurance race. We are asked to sweat, strain, and suffer pain. Often, our trials feel as if we simply can’t go on. We can’t finish the race. There are times we are so tired, we just want to lay down and sleep. To go away from all our troubles.
But when we pull over and don’t continue on, what are we losing?
With endurance, “generosity can replace animosity. Reflection can bring perception. But reflection and introspection require time. So many… outcomes require… truths to be mixed with time, forming the elixir of experience, that sovereign remedy for so many things.”
“Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being ‘acted upon.’ Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to ‘act for ourselves’ by magnifying what is allotted to us.” (Neal A. Maxwell)
I know, for myself, that I have gained much while enduring, sometimes without patience, the trials that have been placed before me. I’ve also been granted the tremendous blessings of helping others. I also know that without the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through over the years, I couldn’t have the empathy, love, or patience with others that I have now. I would not be the woman I am now. I wouldn’t have the courage to write online, about my testimony of the Savior.
Enduring is also the path to becoming what God knows we can become.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C. S. Lewis)
I love how he described the work God does on us. I know I have felt the knocking being done on me throughout the years, but am glad I’ve learned to appreciate the work done on my living house. And I’m also thankful that God knows how long those experiences and trials should last and it’s not left up to me.
“If certain mortal experiences were cut short, it would be like pulling up a flower to see how the roots are doing. Put another way, too many anxious openings of the oven door, and the cake falls instead of rising.” (Neal A. Maxwell)
I hope we all learn to have gratitude for the work being done on us and endure well our trials.