The Dirt is Part of the Glory

This post is by Miranda.

I read somewhere recently a simple proverb that has had a profound effect on my mentality: Every flower and every tree must grow through the dirt. And some even have enough courage and fortitude to grow through the rocks...


Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. - J.K. Rowling

This is something that I once again reflected on during Sunday School today. We were talking about trials and afflictions and those inevitable questions and attitudes we can develop when going through hard times. 

Why does this have to happen to me? 
What did I do to deserve this? 
Why does a loving God allows such tragedies to occur? 
How can He sit by and watch and not intervene?  
Why won't He step in and help me/us/them?  
When will it ever end?


Like every other human being I've had my share of those thoughts and feelings and time and time again I am pulled back to the knowledge of a few simple truths.

First, I know that God does in fact exist. He is my Father and as such He loves me. It is not merely a saying that we are God's children. He is our Father in every sense of the word and He has planted within us is the capacity to become as He is. He wants us to be successful. He is intimately involved in the details of our lives. He has a plan for my life, for your life, and that plan includes growth and development.

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. - Welsh Proverb

Second, God in His wisdom and mercy has given unto man to "act for themselves and not be to acted upon." - 2 Nephi 2:26 He has given to each of us the gift of agency, the ability to make choices and decisions. Unfortunately, that gift has consequences attached... one of which includes having to deal with and suffer from the choices of others. He will not always intercede. It's not part of the plan to be forced into doing right. He allows others to choose as they will and sometimes for us that means we get hurt, offended, snubbed, bullied or otherwise mistreated. 

Third, because we are God's children and because He has a plan for us to grow and develop and become like Him, while still allowing for our mistakes and blunders and knowing we will experience both doing wrong and being wronged, He has provided a Savior to heal, sanctify and seal all the sorrows, sins and gaps in our lives.

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way." - Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-9

Because I have been blessed to gain a real understanding and solid testimony of these truths, I have been able to develop more patience and long-suffering in my trials and afflictions. So I push through the dirt and from time to time, when I remember to, I glory in the dirt. For it is in the back-breaking labor of pushing and digging that I gain my strength. It is in the darkness, suffocating and alone, that I must slough off the hard shell I've allowed to encase my heart and, once my inner softness is exposed, to furrow deep with my roots looking for the well-spring of life. It is the darkness that propels me upward, forcing me to claw my way up and out to new life.

It brings to mind for me the baptismal covenant and the symbolism of that ordinance, the being buried and then brought forth washed clean, that rebirth. To be born again in Christ. Maybe that's what trials are: continual opportunities for burial and rebirth, each time increasing our faith, our strength, our patience and our fortitude as we dig our way back to the surface, seeking the Son. 

That's a rather beautiful miracle, isn't it?


The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber.
The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.
 
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands

Originally this post appeared on her blog.

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