This week my stress level was high. I am preparing for my high-travel season at work, my husband and I just signed to build a house (and there was a lot of paper work to go through), and I've been alone 90 percent of the month because my husband has been traveling for work.
The majority of my stress came as I contemplated life's loose ends and unknowns. When in the fall will we close on our house? Is the government going to raise interest rates between now and then? What is the next step I should take as it relates to my career path? How can I help John as he charts his career path and manages the heavy weight of traveling so much? And so on...
The focus of this post isn't to go over why my stress level was high last week. I share this just to set the stage for a lesson I learned Friday night. Before going to bed on Friday night, we read a few verses from chapter one in the book of Ether, a book in the Book of Mormon. One verse in particular stood out to me:
And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance. (Ether 1:38)
The line I highlighted in bold above touched my heart. As I read it, I thought, "What optimism!" Jared and his brother are facing a lot of unknowns at this particular time in their lives. They truly have no idea what the days, months, and years ahead hold for them.
When I face unknown situations in life, I often find myself reviewing every possible negative outcome. However, there really isn't any good that comes from that. I felt the Holy Spirit touch my heart as we read this verse and calm my stress.
Jared and his brother were facing many, many more unknowns than I am. Yet, they exercised faith that God would not only carry them but carry them forth to a land that was choice above all the earth. I know how the story of Jared and his brother ends. The Lord does in fact lead them to a promised land.
As we read, I realized that I needed to have faith that the Lord will carry and guide me and my husband. Life is full of loose ends and unknowns. Choosing to believe that God will carry us forth can bring joy now and in the future. Jared and his brother's path wasn't necessarily always easy, but God truly did carry them forth to a land that was choice above all other lands. God will carry us and bless us, even (and perhaps especially) when we don't know how things will turn out.
On Mother’s Day, my mom and I went for a walk. It was about 8 p.m. and the sun was quickly descending. As we walked, my mom made an interesting point about the color of the trees. She noted that without the light of the sun, the leaves on the trees looked black, even though they are a vibrant spring green. She commented that if someone had never seen trees before and saw their first tree on the walk with us that night, they would think the color of trees is black.
She then related this to the light the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into our lives. Without the light of the gospel, truth may appear to be something that it actually is not. Only when we view life with the light of the gospel can we see truth for what it really is.
There are so many voices in the world telling us how things “are” or how things “should be.” We need to be careful that we don’t allow ourselves to fall prey to these voices. God is the creator of truth. Truth can never change. Our perspective may change, but God’s truths are absolute.
I know that when I feel particularly insecure, it’s because I am not fully looking at life with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as the light of the sun illuminates the trees, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ illuminates truth and perhaps changes the “color” of our perspective to see ourselves, each other, and God as we and He really are.
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