I can't remember where I was, but it was church related. Maybe. But someone made a comment about how we don't realize how nice it is to be healthy until we get sick. (I've come to really appreciate my health in the past week since I've been sick.)
Well a little while later I was reading in 1st Nephi (book from the Book of Mormon) and his journey to the promised land. Nephi was confronted with some crazy opposition in his life. As I read his story I realized that there is opposition in EVERYTHING (and it talks about that in 2nd Nephi). I've been taught this principle my entire life, but I never thought that I would experience similar (and I use similar very loosely) opposition to Nephi. Now let me explain.
I feel like that for as long as I can remember I've been a pretty comfortable person. I don't really remember holding grudges or anything like that so forgiveness has never been something I've had real problems with. Then I get my mission call and I'm in a situation holding bitterness and unkindness in my heart.
To keep the story short, its something that I still have to work on today, but I have some tremendous help. With studying more about Nephi I came across 2nd Nephi chapter 2. In that chapter it talks about opposition and it also talks about Christ and His atoning sacrifice. While reading that chapter a thought came to mind...Christ atoned for EVERYONE'S sins. He even did for those that spat on Him, cursed Him, and those He knew that would crucify Him. I was blown away at this realization. How could someone have so much love for those that did such horrible things? And then I felt the guilt. Here I was holding this bitterness in my heart over something that is nothing compared to what Christ and Nephi went up against. Obviously Christ was and is perfect so I know I can't exactly measure up to him, but Nephi wasn't perfect. He even talks about his weakness in his writings. And although I may never have the faith and strength that Nephi had, my trial is small compared to his AND I know how Nephi had such compassion and love. Christ.
I like to think of it this way; you're at work and you have this really upset customer. You've done nothing wrong, but for whatever reason the customer isn't happy and your efforts to please them changes nothing. (Yes this has happened to me in real life.) Well in situations like that I always took comfort in that I had a manager who could help, who WANTED to help. So if there was ever a problem I couldn't handle I could always turn to my manager.
I'm not saying that's exactly how the atonement works, but I think it helps illustrate the point that we are never alone. Christ is there waiting for us to ask for help; He WANTS to help. He is there for us through all of our existence. We're not perfect and life is way too hard to work out by ourselves, and I think it was meant to be that way.
I still get tastes of bitterness every now and then, but I always try to remember that in the end this is just a small issue and big or small our Savior will take care of it. "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10) and honestly I find that a relief.