The Parable of the Small Stone
A couple weeks ago my jeep started making this horrible screeching noise while driving down the road. It sounded like metal scraping against metal. And it was loud, REALLY loud.
It was a few days before my husband had time to take a look at it so while we waited we stressed about what it could be and how much the repairs were going to cost. We've had a few expensive issues with this jeep and truth be told, I'd about had it with the thing. As much as I loved it, I was ready to get rid of it.
The day my husband set aside to work on it, I helped him roll the jeep back and forth so he could tell where the screech was coming from. We discovered which side and tire so he jacked it up and set to work taking off the tire. I went in the house (where it was warm) to wait for the bad news. He came back in an hour later(it only took so long because of course one of the lug nuts broke...) with a smile and a gift.
A tiny little stone with two very shiny sides.
Shiny because it had been stuck between a metal guard (that was meant to keep things from getting in the very spot this little rock was) and the brake drum, and it had polished the sides.
Rock gone. Screech gone. No repairs necessary. I get to keep my jeep (I really do love the thing)
This had me comparing myself to this small stone. When in the middle of hard times all I hear is the loud scrrreeeeech that screams something's wrong, all I feel is the painful squeezing and scraping. But when it's over, when the trial finally ends, I often see the beauty of knowledge and strength that came from the trial. The hard time has improved me, refined me.
"...we learn and grow and become refined through hard challenges, heartbreaking sorrow, and difficult choices. Each one of us experiences dark days...painful times...feelings of being forsaken..." (Pres. Thomas S. Monson)
"...this is the process by which we discover what we are truly made of. We are created by the Almighty God. He is our heavenly Father...We are made of supernal material most precious and highly refined..." (Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
Hard times show what we are truly made of. And in the midst of our struggles, we are not alone. There is one who understands completely how we feel.
"Our Savior, the Good Shepherd knows and loves us. He knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost--whether from your own choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is you are His child. And he loves you...Because He loves you, He will find you...If you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world He will find you. He will rescue you. He will lift you up and place you on His shoulders. He will carry you home...His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were--far greater than what we can ever imagine. With each step of faith on the path of discipleship, we grow into the beings of eternal glory and infinite JOY we were designed to become." (Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
Funny the things you can learn from a little stone...