April 24, 2013 (5 months out)
I have been doing a lot of thinking about agency or our ability to choose...
Life is about learning to choose to submit our will to the will of God. After all, that is what Christ ultimately had to do. I have been struggling with that concept a bit.
Knowing how to make my will the same as God's will has been the issue.
I have a tendency to pray for things that I want.
In truth even though I say, 'Thy will be done,' I still want it in my timetable. I know I have to change what I want. It can't just be something I say, although that is the first step. But it has to be something that I want and feel as well. So the hard thing for me has been changing that desire....
Accepting the Lord's timetable and plan and not trying to impose mine upon him.
I know before I came to earth I agreed to this plan. As soon as my mother-in-law called to tell me the plane had not landed, I felt a feeling of peace come over me and these are some of the words that entered my mind...
"This was supposed to happen,
We choose this,
You have to be strong,
This will heal many hearts..."
Now all I'm trying to do is remember my prior will. It was my choice to come down here and face these trials. At one point my will was the same as the God's. I just have to remember that.
I had surgery a week ago. I came home and was still recovering from anesthesia when my visiting teachers (two lady's from church assigned to visit me) called. I wasn't having any pain because of the local anesthetic. I thought that the drugs they had used to sedate me had worn off. I thought I was in complete control of my metal faculties.
I did not realize how impaired I was at the time.
I cheerfully agreed to a visit the next morning, stating that I didn't have any pain and everything was fine. When I made the appointment, I didn't even think about my mother being there. I didn't think about my sister's birthday the next day, and that we were going to Joplin. I didn't think about the four little toddlers they would be bringing with them.
In truth I was in a fog and, I wasn't thinking very clearly.
I completely forgot about the conversation. Later that night I was in a lot of pain. The next day I prepared to leave with my mother. My visiting teachers arrived at the gate of our house just as I was leaving. They asked me if I remembered about the appointment. Up until that time, I had no recollection of the conversation. Once she reminded me, I could vaguely remember talking to them.
It was then that I realize how impaired I had been!
There were many circumstances I had not thought about. I realized that with a clear mind I would've made a different choice.
Life is like coming out from anesthesia.
- We think our judgment is not impaired.
- We do not realize the fog we are in.
- We do not realize our inability to reason and see future circumstances.
- In truth we don't have a clear picture of the whole plan.
Our choices and desires are based upon what we can see in the fog. If only we could lift the fog, then our wills would be perfectly aligned with God's will. But in our impaired state
we cannot see things as they really are.
This is where faith comes in.We have to understand that our judgment is impaired. We have to trust that God can see the whole picture. We have to trust that if we could see the whole picture we would choose differently. Then we have to say,
"What ever thy will is, I will except it."This is what I want...
I want what You want.So instead of praying that the house will sell quickly and for the most money possible, I pray that it will sell in the Lord's timetable and for the amount that He feels is best for us. Instead of questioning,
"Why did my husband have to die in a plane crash?"I accept that and ask,
"What do I need to learn from this experience to grow and learn so that I will be prepared to return to him someday. Help me to be humble enough to learn those lessons."We pray,
"Father give me faith and help my faith to stretch beyond what I'm capable of right now. Help me to bear those burdens that must be placed on my shoulders...that I might be able to witness to others of thy ability to aid in need of trials. That I will no longer just believe that, but I will know that thy hand strengthens us and helps us to become what we need to become in order to return back to thee."We have to completely accept His will. We can't hold back in our mind,
"But I would really like it to be this way..."Instead we need to have complete faith that His way is the way we really want it. It was the way we initially planned.
Stick to the plan...
I always stick to the plan.
So why change now?
Turning our will over to the Lord is about accepting the Lord's will
and letting go of our need for immediate gratification and success.
Now that doesn't mean sitting around doing nothing. It means I need to pray all the harder to know what my role is, and what I need to do to make the Lord's plan happen. Because the Lord's plan doesn't just happen as we sit back and watch it go. His plan requires our involvement.
So life is about our will and
the Lord's will becoming One.
the Lord's will becoming One.
It's about becoming one with His spirit. Just like the Savior was one with the Father so we must also be one.
One in purpose, one in mind, one in spirit.
Figuring this out is this simple part...
Making it happen is the work.
Here is some additional readings that inspired this post...
Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them?
As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences.
How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.” Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”
Does this mean we will always understand our challenges? Won’t all of us, sometime, have reason to ask, “O God, where art thou?” Yes! When a spouse dies, a companion will wonder. When financial hardship befalls a family, a father will ask. When children wander from the path, a mother and father will cry out in sorrow. Yes, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Then, in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord, saying, “Thy will be done.”
What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”
As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience” and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast” and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ” and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”
As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,” knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”
And we “cast not away … [our] confidence” that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good.”
Even with the shining examples of Job, the prophets, and the Savior, we will still find it challenging to wait upon the Lord, especially when we cannot fully understand His plan and purposes for us. That understanding is most often given “line upon line, [and] precept upon precept.”
In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little” because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do.
Too often we pray to have patience, but we want it right now!
We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter. This may be true for some promises in our patriarchal blessings and for some blessings for family members. Let us not give up on the Lord. His blessings are eternal, not temporary.
On this Sabbath morning, I express gratitude that “in my Gethsemane” and yours, we are not alone. He that watches over us “shall neither slumber nor sleep.” His angels here and beyond the veil are “round about [us], to bear [us] up.” I bear my special witness that our Savior’s promise is true, for He says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done,” and return to Him with honor.
-ROBERT D. HALES Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done