In life you either push forward or roll backwards. Even the most acute and painful challenges in life can produce life changing opportunities for us to grow closer to God and connect with those around us. Life is not always beautiful, for me or for you. But the outcomes can be.
Look outwards, and don't retreat inwards.
Even the severest of challenges can give us gifts of empathy. They can humble us. They can open up the way for us to gain broken hearts and contrite spirits. They can bring us closer to God. They can expand the capacity of our hearts to connect with, serve, and truly love others.
Brandon Sulser, "Push forward in life"
Brandon Sulser is a quadriplegic. At 13, he had a traumatic brain injury. At 18, he broke his neck leaving him paralyzed. At 29, he froze to death, literally, in a freak ATV accident. His internal body temperature was 73°. He was miraculously brought back to life. At 34, he was in a head on collision on the highway that required extensive facial reconstruction.
Sometimes I think that my life is difficult. Compared to countless others, it is not. I need to quit focusing on me and look outwards. I need to find ways to ease the burdens that so many others are carrying. Open my eyes, as it were, and notice when someone else needs help and support. I may not be able to assist physically, but there are so many other ways to help. Through positivity and hope. Through mental fortitude and focus. Through spiritual strength and faith. Through compassion and love. Through just being present and available.
Heavenly Father indeed works in mysterious ways. Our own challenges allow us to open our eyes to see how someone else is struggling with their challenges and help carry them. None of us can do this alone. So, especially during this season of love and gratitude, let's make someone else's burden a little lighter to carry.
The Savior says for us to take His yoke upon us in Matthew 11:29. When we help someone else carry their burden, their metaphorical yoke, we are, in effect, taking His yoke upon us since when we serve others, we serve Him (Mosiah 2:17). And He will make the burden light.