That quote comes from a talk given by one of my favorite speakers, Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Here are a few excerpts from the talk:
“Over the years, I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul…Often their grief is caused by what seems to them as an ending. Some are facing the end of a cherished relationship, such as the death of a loved one or estrangement from a family member. Others feel they are facing the end of hope—the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness. Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, what they once knew to be true.
Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift.
It can happen to anyone. No one is immune.
Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.
We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding…
But some might say, “What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?”
Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease…
It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach?
Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be…
This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer…
We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?”
Now can you see why I LOVE this talk?! It is such a great reminder to me to be grateful during the journey, through both the ups and the downs. I need talks like this to set my head straight sometimes. I tend to be the person so focused on the outcome itself that I forget to feel grateful during the journey and these type of talks really help to pull me back to center and make me keep things in better perspective. I love his reminder that we can always find something to be grateful for, even when times are tough or things are going as we think they should. I know in my life that when things have gone wrong and I haven’t understood it at the time – inevitably when I look back at those times they ended up leading my life to somewhere so much better than I could ever have imagined that they would. And because of that I have learned to trust that even if it’s not going my way, it is usually because God has a much better route for me to take then the one I was planning on.
Have a great start to this new week full of gratitude and happiness!