Most people, when they choose, or are inspired, to speak about trials, it happens because they are going through them at the time they are speaking about them. Not so, in this case. I mean, I have my daily wars with my toddler, and I have my own personal conflicts. My life isn’t exactly a bowl of perfectly ripened nectarines waiting to be served hot with vanilla ice cream. But, it’s definitely not a bowl of rotting prunes either. It’s more like 5-day old bananas.
Today in Sunday School, we discussed a BYU devotional from January 15, 2008 entitled “The Power of Deliverance” given by President Henry B. Eyring. He is, naturally, a talented speaker, very eloquent and humble. This talk showed nothing different. He talks about trials that we may be given throughout our lives in four different forms. One: the effects of sin. Two: fierce opposition – enemies. Three: fierce opposition – physical challenges such as health, poverty or loneliness. And four: pain and sorrow at the loss of a loved one. All of us have experienced at least one of these, and I would say most of us have experienced more. But I don’t want to discuss them all. I want to discuss the third one.
We may, in our lifetime, experience several different kinds of opposition. As is stated in 2 Nephi 2:11 “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things”, wherever there is good, there will be evil. Or, wherever there is happiness, there will be sorrow. But it’s up to us to decide how we will continue with those evils arise and those sorrows overwhelm.
Job was the entirely mortal master of opposition. Of course, Jesus was the ultimate example of overcoming, but it is on Job that I wish to focus. Not only was this man highly favored of the Lord, but he was favored of man as well. Job was wealthy and popular. He had land and many flocks. He had many friends and children. His wife loved him and all was well. But there came a time of great opposition when Job was to be tested. His flocks were killed. His children were killed. His wife left him. His friends deserted him. And, to top it all off, he became very ill. But through all that evil and pain, sorrow and grief, still he said “till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” (Job 27:5) Through all his trials, the loss of virtually everything he had, even down to his own health, he chose to trust in God that He would help him overcome.
I suppose if you take nothing else from this article, then take this: there will always be something good amidst all the darkness. Even if it gets so dark that the only good thing is that you are not yet dead. There will always be a lesson to be learned. There will always be a blessing to be given at the end of it. There will always be peace given, if sought out. There will always be something good. Right now my life is like 5 day old bananas. Well.. what do you do with bananas that have turned slightly brown and aren’t really suitable to eat on their own anymore, but you don’t really want to throw them away because they’re still sorta ok? Make banana bread of course!