Christmas and trials

Something about Christmas time and trials, sounds wrong to me. As if the two should be as far away from one another as possible. Today I've been grateful that the hard things that we are going through right now actually are during this beautiful and peaceful time of year.

A time where we remember the gift that was given from Heaven. A Savior that came to earth, to suffer all of our sins and afflictions, and give us eternal life.  It helps me remember why I am here, and where I am going, and how to make choices in a confusing world that has a myriad of good choices obscuring the best choices.

As we reflect on the gift we have been given, and focus on giving to those we love and those in need, if you are experiencing trials and hard times right now, I hope these words can give you peace also. 
This talk spoke to me this morning:

"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. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:"
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.Douglas Malloch

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