We all have rough days. There are times when we are so exhausted we don’t even know how we are functioning. Sometimes it feels as if we are running on fumes and are never able to refuel. I’ll be honest and say that I have felt that feeling before when I was in college and before I came out on my mission, but never has that permenant feeling of exhaustion been as prominent as it has been since I have come out on my mission.
Being a missionary is draining in a lot of ways. You are taxed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes it is hard to get up and to keep going, but you do it anyway. At night you stagger into the apartment, barely able to stay awake long enough to plan for the next day and then get ready for bed and are out by the time your head hits the pillow (and sometimes you are asleep before you lay down in your bed). The alarm on our phone is not my favorite thing in the world to hear, but I get up at its beck and call anyway.
During the day doors get shut in our faces, people comepletely ignore us when we talk to them or we almost get hit by cars. Why do we get up and go out each day and put ourselves through this? Why am I out here? Why could I possible want to spend 18 months away from my family and friends? Why would I want to go to a strange place and talk to people I don’t know everyday? Why??????
Because I have been blessed with a knowledge of the truth. I have been fortunate to have the Gospel in my life and I want to share it with others. My Heavenly
Father has a work for me to do. Right now, that means I need to be far from family and friends, talking with complete strangers, staggering in at night, dead on my feet.
The things I go through, no matter how exhausting, no matter how difficult and draining they may be, I can take comfort in the knowledge that there is one who has quite literally already experienced it all. There is one who has been there, who has already walked down the path on which I now trod. There is one who has done all that, and more. He has experienced the paths that each one of us takes. He has descended below it all. His name is Jesus Christ. He is my brother, the one who has suffered all so that we do not have to suffer and struggle alone.
In Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 and 122 we read:
7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes…….
1 The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;
2 While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.
3 And thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors.
4 And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor; and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever.
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 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.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
We are not greater than Christ. He is the one who will lift us up when we can no longer stand. He is the one who is able to make up the difference when we find ourselves lacking. We need to turn to him and let him help us as he so desperately wants to do. Fall on your knees and pour out your hearts to him. He will hear you. He will comfort you. He will reach out for your hand.