Life. It is a journey of experiences. So many are pleasant and pass without notice. Some are so wonderful they mark our memories and are savored for years. And, without fail, each of us will encounter painful experiences.
In the height of our most painful experiences, we are reduced to our most primal selves seeking desperately for a way to make the pain go away. In today's world that is often possible. It isn't always, but for so many pains that we as humans suffer, there is now a pill or a drug or a distraction to take the pain away. How wonderful that we are spared so much pain through modern medicine.
Still, life is far from pain free. So often we distract ourselves from realities that hurt. It is a good coping mechanism. One I have relied on heavily. But where would we be in this life if we could really rid ourselves of all pain?
I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lows of life than I did a year ago. A year ago I thought the law of "opposition" in all things was all about being able to better appreciate the sweet things in this life. Certainly bad experiences do help us appreciate good ones. But I have found so much more value in being acquainted with grief.
It is our painful experiences that tie us to humanity and connect us on deeper levels. Painful experiences can tenderize the soul and soften our hearts. They can expand the chambers of our heart to experience greater love and empathy.
Painful experiences give us opportunities for growth. Though we would that they should pass and in their height we would do anything to make them go away, they can be spiritual fertilizer. They stink and are unpleasant but they help us grow.
Last night as I said my nightly prayers, my heart felt heavy. I let myself feel the pain that is ever running in the current of my inner soul. And in the depths of it I felt surrounded by the love of the Savior. I felt a closeness to Him unlike anything words can describe. I know He walks with us, and even carries us, though our painful experiences. Though we would rush through them, it is in these experiences we are closest to Him and through these that we can come to "know" Him.
I am so grateful to know in a new way today that I am really not alone in any pain I feel. Those pains I feel in this life tie me to Him. And I am grateful for those ties that bind.