“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness…that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable…” (1 Peter 1:6-8)
I firmly believe that our deepest trials have the potential to lead us to our greatest joys.
My life has been filled with miraculous experiences that have instilled in me an unshakable faith in the all-encompassing reality of our Savior and His love for every individual to ever walk this earth. While these experiences have been remarkable each in their own unique and sacred way, there is a common theme within them all: sorrow.
Again and again, my deepest moments of grief, of sorrow, of feelings of sheer abandonment and despair, have been the exact moments that have both led the way to and carved out space in my soul for “joy unspeakable” – the joy that comes only through and because of Jesus the Christ.
Sorrow, as bitter as it may be, is often the precise thing that brings us to feel the full embrace of love – the full embrace of Heavenly love.
Just as the book of Mosiah reminds us, we can know of a surety that the Lord God does visit us in our afflictions (Mosiah 24:14) and that when our hearts are depressed, the Lord will comfort us (Alma 26:27).
His love is gradual, yet immediate.
Individual, yet universal.
Quiet, yet all-encompassing.
His love is everything.
His love is so deep and His respect for our agency so high that while His arm is always outstretched to comfort us, He is bound to action until we surrender ourselves and invite His love into our presence.
As tangibly real as the sun that warms our skin and the earth beneath our feet, so too is the love that radiates from our Savior.
I testify of this reality.
He is aware, mindful, and nurturing in every moment.
He is ready, willing, waiting, wanting to wrap His arms around us – but it is up to us whether or not we open our hearts to feel that heavenly embrace and incomprehensible comfort that He yearns to give.
As we seek to open our hearts and minds to the power and love of Christ, our trials and sorrows can be transformed for our good, even “being much more precious than of gold”.
He is able to transform anxiety into awakening, grief into gratitude, fear into faith, calamity into calmness, sorrow into stillness, loss into love.
His power exchanges “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).
Though we may see Him not, He sees and loves us. He is never distant nor out of reach. He is here, and He is at the ready to offer your soul the comfort you so deeply crave. Lean into the Savior for He is mighty to save, and through Him, we can “rejoice with joy unspeakable” and trust that just as a beloved hymn states, “thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”
Featured Image from Pexels: Artur Roman
McKell is a wife, mother, writer, speaker, life coach, podcaster, and gratitude enthusiast.
McKell is the creator of the Unto Joy workbook and is an advocate for helping all women know they belong.
McKell shares beautifully meaningful thoughts and ideas while inspiring you to find stillness in your life. She helps remind us all of our worth, and all that is of importance in our daily lives.
McKell is dedicated to sharing the tools that saved her life and finding joy all along the way.
When she’s not creating, you can find her out on the farm with her two boys, Conrad and Oliver.
McKell currently resides in Utah, USA.
You can connect with McKell on Instagram, on her Podcast, through her Products, or on her Website.