Some paths I’ve taken in life with a confirmation that Heavenly Father supports me :) and some of those paths have led to sorrow :( I experienced that recently in a way that made me ask…
Did Heavenly Father guide me to suffering?
As I’ve pondered on this question the past couple days (my recent HWN), I felt my mind and heart led to various ideas to help answer. The first was to think of Christ…
It was prophesied that Christ would be “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief“ (Isaiah 53:3), and Christ himself testified that “my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross“ (3 Nephi 27:14). Christ perfectly followed the path that Heavenly Father prepared for Him, and this led in fact to the greatest sorrow and suffering the world has ever known.
If this can happen to Christ, it can also happen to me.
I know I’ll never be asked to suffer as much as Christ did, and I know I never could. But if He, whom the Lord loved and guided so closely, could be set up for suffering, then couldn’t I also? And I suppose Him guiding me along a path that has sorrowful circumstances could in fact be a sign of His love because, “…whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” (Hebrews 12:6).
This then brings me to the next question though…
Why does Heavenly Father want me to suffer?
I think the simplest answer isn’t easy… but I believe it’s true. As Elder Hales said:
Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”
And President Monson:
Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.
So I can become what Heavenly Father wants me to be… which is more than I can imagine myself. I hope to internalize this perspective so I can say as did Job:
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” (Job 13:15)
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)