Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sunday thoughts

We had stake conference today. A talk about the Apostle Paul really struck me.

{Apostle Paul by Rembrandt 1657}

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul was given a trial, something not invited, not expected, not the result of his own doing. He pleaded with the Lord to remove this trial, but he did not receive the answer he was looking for. Instead, he had to come to the conclusion that this was something he had to deal with in life--it was not going to go away.

It's a spiritually mature perspective, and one not easily gained. Instead of removing our burdens, sometimes the Lord simply makes us strong enough to bear them. I can see that accepting a trial and moving on in spite of it could spare us a lot of struggle and strife.

From an elevated viewpoint, we see life through different eyes, and the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to lift us to great heights.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I had never seen that picture of Paul by Rembrandt before. I'm so glad you put it on your post. I love Paul. I love his zeal. I love his fervor. I love his humility. Thank you for reminding us of his perspective.

Jana said...

I enjoyed this post. I spent last night and today with Devin and his on-going asthma attack, and I spent an hour in the hospital last night with false labor. I needed to be spiritually fed today.

Jill said...

I can definitely see the wisdom and maturity in cultivating the perspective of accepting a trial rather than expecting it to end. I'm just wondering if there is a short-cut to gaining that perspective?

emily said...

This is such a great perspective. Instead of waiting out trial, we can keep working and moving forward. We can grow so much more this way, but it's also a lot harder.

rebekah said...

I love the Apostle Paul. He and Moses are my two 'favorites' from the scriptures.

This quote reminds me of something I believe President Eyring said about trials. Most of the time the only way to handle a trial is to go through it, not to be removed from it. Knowing this has greatly changed my perspective on life.

I'm off to find a print of this painting...

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