When I first walked in to Robert's hospital room after surgery, the first thing he said was, "I made it! I'm here, and I'm so happy to be here." Those words recalled a conversation we had had days before, when I asked (in a moment of insecurity), "If something happened during surgery, and you were given the choice, would you choose to come back or would you go on?" His answer was that he wanted to stay here on earth longer, that there was much he wanted to do and enjoy here on earth, that he wanted to spend more time with me, with his children and grandchildren. (I have to tell you that I was relieved, I wanted him to stay, too, but I also wanted for him what he wanted and what the Lord wanted, but that's another blog post.)
Our conversation reminded me of the words to a song I have sung, "I love this life, even when it hurts, even when I'm weary from the race. The power of Heaven lifts me up in this day of Grace."
Here we are on earth, with mortal bodies that, in a time before, we were excited and happy to obtain. More importantly, we chose to come and get these bodies. Now, here we are with our mortal bodies, and one of the conditions of mortality is that we will have pain. It will come- physical pain, emotional pain, all kinds of pain.
But as I write this, my mind wanders through some other pathways; we have come to earth so that we can learn and grow- to increase in intelligence. Here I am sitting in a hospital next to my sweet husband who is experiencing extreme physical pain. Doctors and nurses bring contraptions and machines, drugs and therapies to relieve his pain and hopefully restore his health. All of those treatments were developed because people wanted to learn, grow and increase in intelligence so that they could alleviate the earthly pain of others. IF there were no earthly pain, 'men' Would not have been driven to learning these things. The plan is pretty tremendous, isn't it? Give men agency and let them choose for themselves how to handle mortality. I am SO glad someone chose to discover medical treatments that help my sweetheart! I love this life! We get to learn! We might feel pain, but we can also choose to find peace and joy.
And that is the conundrum of earth life; that God created us that we might have joy, to find joy, even in the midst of pain and trials. For me, the key has been to keep an eternal perspective, to constantly remind myself that 'all these things' are for our experience, that I have been given all that is necessary for me to learn and to have joy while on this earth. I try to keep my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ—trust in His love, mercy, and power, and trust in His timing. I have learned that I have more joy when I resist thoughts of anger, bitterness, or despair, and when I act with faith in Christ to do His will, no matter what comes. I daily remind myself that the Savior sees the end from the beginning. His will is the very best thing that could ever happen.
"I love this life, even when it hurts, even when I'm weary from the race. The Power of Heaven lifts me up in this day of Grace."