I don't understand why, and it is a very foreboding thought, that as life goes on the trials get harder: logically meaning that if I survive this one the next one will be worse. In the middle of said trial I can't imagine a worse one. I suppose I will have to work on my imagination skills because they just do get worse and worse, sometimes unimaginably worse.
This is the end of my sad song.
This is the start of my parable:
There was once a Beautiful Princess, who loved to eat good food, she held a beautiful colorful glass platter and on it was her choices of food. She loved to carry this platter of food around and admire it, enjoyed eating off of it and just very simply loved this platter of food. The food on her plate was the very very best food she knew of. She could add to it with hard work and it never became empty.
One day out of the blue, for no reason the Beautiful Princess could understand, WHAM onto her plate fell a giant lump of mashed potatoes, not the light fluffy buttery kind - these potatoes were very undesirable to the Princess, cold, grey, lumpy, no salt, no butter, not whipped whatsoever - these potatoes had been half cooked and mashed with a baby spoon. WHAM onto the edge of the beautiful plate they fell with a force.
Now the Beautiful Princess is a Princess and elegant and happy and was not expecting this force of undesired mashed potatoes so she was carrying her colorful glass platter around balanced on one hand, very beautifully indeed. Well the mashed potatoes knocked the platter and oh she was going to catch it and save it really....but then WHAM another giant scoop and then as the plate was falling to add insult to injury yet another scoop glued itself to the edge of that beautiful platter and down it fell.
This colorful glass platter was very important to the Beautiful Princess and she looked and could not believe that it was falling, and like all important things in life that fall and crash time slows and we see it fall so slowly. The Beautiful Princess watched helplessly as her treasured colorful wonderful platter slowly fell flipping and tumbling through the air, throwing all her beautiful and hard-worked-for food scattering down, down, down. She was helpless, she couldn't catch it no matter how much she wanted to. She prayed and prayed that someone else would catch it, she couldn't believe that God was not catching it, she couldn't believe it was falling...as it fell and fell and fell.
She felt as though only she could see that it was falling, she prayed and felt peace but misery loves company and she was expecting something more along the lines of, "OH MY! BIGGEST WORSE TRIAL EVER! SORRY, MIS-CATEGORIZED, WE WILL DEAL WITH THIS IMMEDIATELY! NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS, THAT IS WAY TOO BIG! HERE IS A COUPON FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY WORRY FREE DAY! SO SORRY, WONT HAPPEN AGAIN."
Then it crashed, on the floor, the plate did not break but the food was everywhere and it was not beautiful and cherished anymore it was smashed and dirty and ugly and everywhere and not nice to look at or desirable to eat. Not only that but when it fell to the floor and the Princess was sitting there wondering what to do the dogs started showing up. Not fluffy little cute dogs that you would feed a green pea to and pat and they wiggle happily. No, these dogs are black and they don't follow any Princess orders, she can fight but they will not relent. These dogs are shadows and can not be fenced off or tied back. One is named Depression another is Anger there are specially trained shadow dogs that sniff out the Faith and Testimony food items from your plate and will eat just those with greed. There are many very real shadow dogs in the shadows different ones come depending on the type of food that has fallen from the plate.
What is the Beautiful Princess to do? Is it going to be a tragic ending? I do love tragic endings. The Princess sits there with the shadow dogs milling around, sniffing and sorting and looking through the food that the Princess once treasured, still does treasure, but just does not know how to save it, where to start, and how to start it is just such a daunting task. As she looks on shadow dog Depression walks by, "Why bother, it's unusable now anyway, you are not worthy to carry such a beautiful colored platter, look at you just sitting there on the floor, how could you have dropped it? It was a mistake that you were ever holding it in the first place." Closely followed by Depression, Anger follows on his tail, "It would have been better if the whole platter had shattered then you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up this whole mess, you could get another better platter and you could protect it from ever having cold lumpy mashed potatoes fall on it in the first place." The shadow dogs start to do un-shadow like things like actually eat the food on the floor. Suffice to say the Beautiful princess who does not feel very beautiful anymore is distraught. That is when she notices that the shadow dogs are picking off her faith and testimony, very sneakily too, with their tails between their legs these little dogs are picking around looking for the most treasured morsels.
This is just too much for the Princess she has yelled and chased and cried and she had prayed when the platter was falling, but when it fell she had just stared and looked rather unbelieving that something so beautiful could fall so quickly. The Beautiful Princess prayed and as she prayed she realized that her Savior had always been right beside her and he had stood there with her and held her hand as her beautiful colorful platter had crashed to the floor and he had not caught it, not because he could not but because it needed to fall so that she could see how much she treasured each and every morsel that fell from the platter.
The Savior has the ultimate story of triumph! He suffered and felt all the pain and sadness the whole wide world over, all the generations of trials of all humankind heaped on him. He had his moment of helplessly watching his beautiful platter fall when he said, "Father let this cup pass from me, however not my will but thine." He suffered and suffered and suffered alone till he bled from every pore. Then he was cruelly crucified, buried and triumphed over death.
The Savior knew how the Beautiful Princess felt and knew how she would feel when her platter crashed to the ground and he never left.
As the Beautiful Princess prayed she saw that the Savior was there and he was helping her pick up the food scattered all about, he did not just scoop up the food and dump it back on the platter and he also did not lightning strike the shadow dogs but where he was they could not go. So slowly and carefully and calmly the Savior helped the Beautiful Princess pick up each piece of food and place it with care back on the platter. The Savior picked up those ugly lumpy mashed potatoes that had caused so much harm and he stuck them right there in the middle of the plate and then they arranged all the lovely food around it. Now the plate was balanced, maybe not as pretty as before as it now had a big lump of ugly mashed potatoes in the middle but the Princess simply had to carry the mashed potatoes and if she had to carry them they would be better there in the middle rather than tipping the plate at the edge.
The Savior helped the Beautiful Princess stand and as she did so the dogs ran away, the colorful platter was beautiful again, the food was more beautiful and wonderful than before.
The Princess does not know how long she will have to have the gray mashed potatoes on her plate and she doesn't know when the next scoop will hit the platter but when it does she will fall and she will stand again.