Thursday, April 14, 2016

It isn't enough to live in hope...



"Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do."  (LDS 12 step---step 12)

"...But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."  Jeremiah 20:9

This is one of those posts I sit down to write and have no idea how the details of it will all come together.  I just know there are some things rolling around in my head.  The title for this post came from a movie Mark and I recently watched together.  I have pondered on it the past few weeks.  I can't remember the exact wording for the second part of the line from the movie, but it reminded me of the summary I shared above for step 12. 

I can speak unabashedly because the things I share here have nothing to do with me.  It is about God and His wisdom and love in working in the details of lives of individuals.  I have just happened to have a front-row seat to it all.

Back in Rexburg I had many circles of influence. There were many who were within the sound of my voice.  Although uncomfortable at first, it became a joy to plant seeds and expose many at one time to pure doctrine and delicious truths.  Since moving, God has been teaching me something and allowing me to grow in new ways.  My circle here has mostly been small.  He is teaching me how to beam a spotlight on those few within my influence in one-on-one situations.  It has been humbling to call at just the right time or offer just the right words or actions to bring comfort, hope, or understanding.  The right person at the right time.  Again, this is not to my credit.  As with seeing this pattern more consistently in my life, it is that I am but willing.  That is all.  He has done the rest.  It has truly has been incredible to watch it all unfold for these individuals.

Marion G Romney said, "Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve.  How can we give if there is nothing there? ...Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved.  Teaching cannot come from the unlearned.  And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak...There is an interdependence between those who have and those who have not...once a person has been made whole or self-reliant, he reaches out to aid others, and the cycle repeats itself" (emphasis added).

For years I have loved the dear ones who were whole and reached out to me, pointing me to Christ.  The moments of influence were of eternal significance to me.  It has been such a joy to be in a place to pay it forward now.  I love that Elder Romney describes it as an "interdependent relationship."  Truly I have discovered it to be such being more regularly on the self-reliant end. I have been blessed in learning to guide others in this way.  It has reinforced truth for me.  As their pressing circumstances have weighed on my heart, it has been tender to pray for these individuals and their specific needs---to add my faith to theirs that they can understand quickly and have the strength to bear their burdens, that they can see God in it.  I KNOW others prayed for me and my family in this way.  I didn't see it in the moment, but with hindsight, there is no other way we could have weathered through as we continued in our pride.  I am grateful for these sustaining prayers on my behalf and to be able to offer similar prayers for those whom I have grown to love dearly.

Truly it isn't enough to live in hope.  I remember well that small flicker of hope at a time when I felt all was lost.  As that same hope has grown to faith, then even knowledge, it has filled me to overflowing.  It has become a "burning fire... in my bones," as Jeremiah describes above.  His love and words of hope have filled me. Now I am learning to allow His love to flow more freely through me to "give [His] light to them that sit in darkness" (Luke 1:79).  To offer hope...His hope.  What a privilege to help in small ways to further His work and His purposes in the lives of individuals who are known and dear to Him.



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