Testify

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Savior, your Savior, our Savior. We talk a lot about Jesus Christ and how he suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was pain beyond our understanding, for everyone who ever had or would live on the earth. I don’t think there are words that can make us understand what that was like.

Pain, suffering…not my favorite feelings. I got to wondering if He also got to feel the joy. I mean, it hardly seems fair to just hurt for us all. I would want to get a taste of the good stuff too if I had been him. I really wondered about this.

As can be the case, when we wonder about spiritual matters and ponder on them, we tend to find things in the scriptures (if we read them) and things like answers and understandings are brought to our minds. At least, that’s how it works for me. There were a couple of things. One answer was in a hymn at church last week that said, “joy and grief beyond compare”, another was reading in 1 Samuel…I don’t remember exactly what was said, but the Spirit whispered a bit to me then. And then there was the temple this morning where guidance and prompting sent me forward. The final answer, so far, came this evening.

I have a family member who is suffering. There are a lot of reasons and ways she is suffering. I’ve tried to help her the best I can by being there, and offering shelter and support and food. I’ve spent time with her and on my knees. But, no matter what I do, no matter what I try and how hard I work, I cannot take away this suffering from her. I would.

I’ve had suffering of my own. I’ve hurt deep down in my soul so badly that I curled in a ball and cried. What starts out as an emotion or thought sometimes turns into physical pain. You probably know what I mean. No pain pill can take away this kind of pain. It gets into your soul and just rips it apart. At least, that’s how it feels.

On my way home tonight after being with her, I was telling her how much I love her, via text and it hit me. I love her so very much that I hurt for her. My heart clenches and the tears flow because of how much I love her and how much it hurts to see her hurting. I wish I could take it away. I want to bear that burden for her.

As I cried, wondering why she had to go through this, I realized that yes. Our Savior got to feel the joy. He most definitely did, because if he didn’t feel the joy he would never have been able to feel and endure that pain. I believe it is a package deal. You have to feel that love in order to comprehend the hurt, the pain, and the suffering.

It’s hard to see the ones we love hurting. But as I look back on my own heartache, I know it’s part of the journey. We are on a learning path. We have to go through these things to truly experience this school called life. Through our pain, we grow stronger and wiser and hopefully, more compassionate to those around us. We’ve been there. We can help by listening and understanding. That’s what our Savior does for us. He’s there, ready to listen. He understands because he’s been there.

I can’t possibly understand what it was like for Jesus to feel all our pain. I can’t even imagine feeling all of my own pain all at once. I have to space it out over a lifetime, just like everyone else. But when I’m crying, questioning, and sometimes complaining, if I can turn just a little and peek over at that Garden, I can feel the support of my Savior as he helps me carry my burden.

I know He lives. I know he loves all of us; completely and fully. I know he suffered for all of us. I’m grateful to have people in my life that I love so much that I can feel a bit of that suffering with them. It isn’t fun, but it reminds me of my Savior, who I am trying to be like. It reminds me of why we’re here. It reminds me that I truly can love someone like He did. And that, is a beautiful thing.

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: VistaCreate