Praying is sometimes really hard work.
And I have found that sometimes I am commanded to pray for something and it’s such a wonderful, sure experience. And I am just absolutely certain and I pray with all my heart and exert myself and then…
Sometimes it’s nothing for a little while, but sometimes it’s nothing for what seems like far too long.
And then I find myself wringing my hands and wondering if I somehow missed the mark
(because I have often been found in that circumstance).
But, sometimes, I just think it’s more like the Nephites who all had this strong testimony that Jesus would come, and that there would be a star in the heavens.
A lot of people thought they were crazy.
And they even got made fun of and threatened.
But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.
And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.
And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.
Of course, in most cases, I don’t mind if anyone thinks I am a bit of an oddball, but I can make fun of myself and persecute myself almost better than anyone else. And, boy, am I good at making an uproar within myself!
And sometimes, I can almost think that if whatever I prayed for wasn’t true or isn’t going to come to pass, that maybe I can just breathe a sigh of relief and turn on Netflix. Or make homemade tootsie rolls. Anything but keep up the spiritual energy to really believe that something is going to come to pass when it’s been so long, and it seems past time, and it’s just so hard to be good for this long.
So, most of the time, I keep plodding forward, and I spend far too much time thinking that maybe I should just give up. After all, it’s not anything substantial that I am holding onto–just an idea, a hope–a whisper.
I have to admit that sometimes I get sidetracked and then I just kind of take the easy way out and say staticky, short, distracted, not very holy, semi-prayers. I get to be like the brother of Jared (in only this one way, however), and I forget to really pray. I just kind of think,
“Hey, this beachside living has its perks. I have an endless supply of coconuts, blue sky and sand. Why should I really, really pray deeply and find out there is more work to do and I have to do something terrifying. Maybe my intuition and impressions from before were just wild imaginings. Maybe I can just live on the beach forever.”
And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.
I am sure Jared didn’t not pray for four years. I am guessing he just didn’t want to truly pray. Because there are prayers and then there are prayers.
And then, you realize that the beach is great, but your soul is longing for something more, and you just decide you’re going to ask once again for the Lord to answer that prayer.
For Him to touch your eyes to see.
And then, suddenly, it comes. It hits you. And you see where you knew a little here and there all along, but suddenly you just see the whole thing.
…and then you just know.
That happened to me this week. I was just commiserating with myself at how having the flu at 21 weeks pregnant, while not as bad as the 38 week pregnant variety, was still pretty difficult, and how I was just feeling so pitiful, and Heavenly Father’s voice thundered (figuratively) at me the answer to something I’ve been begging and pleading to understand and know for two years.
There it was. Just like that. Standing in the bathroom.
It was unnerving. And a little humbling.
And then I knew exactly what to pray for.
And it was about Noah.
I kind of know why it took so long. Because I needed to be ready to have the faith and the desire to ask for something I didn’t necessarily understand or even want.
And I did it.
I called upon the Lord.
And, like the brother of Jared, I got an eye-opening interview with my Father in Heaven who reminded me that His ways are not my ways, and who stretched me as far as I could be stretched to strengthen my faith.
And, like the brother of Jared, the answers came, but it wasn’t “You’re right. The beach is great. Enjoy.”
It was a command to see Him. To see the finger of the Lord and to ask Him to light the life of my son. And my children. And my husband.
And there are strings attached. And it’s not easy.
But, it’s peaceful. Because now, I just know.
I know that Noah is not broken, and doesn’t need “fixing.” He is just Noah and I just need to unlearn some things in order to care for him and keep him safe and sound. And I need to create a place where he can help us see the angels that constantly attend to him.
I know that the Lord’s hand is in it, and nothing is overlooked, forgotten or lost to the Lord.
The earthly diagnosis is currently not fully understood, but, with God’s help, I am beginning to understand that the heavenly diagnosis has already been charted and provided for. The cure is the Great Mediator, the Holy One of Israel, and Noah is encompassed in the arms of His Love, and covered by the mercy of the Messiah.
And I get to live with this little person. Every day. And I get to cross the sea with him and discover life with him in a different way than I had ever considered.
And, the beach is nice, but once again, the oceans of uncharted possibilities call to me and I can’t resist them, not when Noah is counting on me to learn so much from him and to share this mortal experience together.
Not when God has commanded me to get us all home.
Faith to move what can’t be moved,
That which proves what can’t be proved,
Hope to make the world seem bright,
Shining through the darkest night.
Grant me these, that I may be
More dear Savior, more like Thee.
Light that burns away my doubt,
Casting all the shadows out.
Love so pure, it falls like rain,
Bringing life where once was pain.
Grant me these, that I may be
More dear Savior, more like Thee.
(More Like Thee, Rob Gardner, We Must Sing)
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