Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faith: Steps in the Dark

Faith: Steps in the Dark

     As I begin to add my jumbled thoughts to the world of blogging, I am taking a step into a new place. I've never done much writing other than on assigned topics so this is a fairly new experience for me. I'm not sure exactly what to do, but that won't stop me from doing it! 

First, A Question:

     Have you ever woken in the night to the dense, thick darkness of the early morning hours? For me this happens all the time. I know it will be too bright if I turn on the light so I set off across the house hoping not to step on anything with my bare feet. When you are off on your middle-of-the-night walks around the house for whatever reason, what leads you? How do you find your way? Do you run your fingertips along the smooth wall searching for an open door? When I wander at night in my home in Utah, I know the layout and can navigate with little or no error, but what does this have to do with faith?

Next, A Transition:

     Whenever my physical eyes can't see, I know that I can wait for them to adjust, turn on the light, or just break out a trusty flashlight to guide me on my way, but what do we do when we find ourselves blinded and in the darkness with our spiritual eyes? I find myself sometimes at a loss of where to go and what to do in my spiritual walk. It is in times like these that I try to remember a lesson taught in The Book of Mormon. A man, called of God, named Lehi had a vision in which he found himself in a "dark and dreary wilderness" (See 1 Nephi 8 1-12). He like so many of us was at the mercy of the elements of this world. Doubt, fear, and vice, anxiety and uneasiness are always to be found when we are in the dark and dreary times of our lives. 

Step 3, Hope:

     We all have experienced or are experiencing moments, hours, or days of this dark and depressing experience of being spiritually blind. How did we find our way free? What is, or more appropriately, who is our escape from this burden of darkness? The prophet, Lehi, knew the answer to that question. In his vision he says that he had traveled for "many hours in darkness" struggling to find his way before he turned to the Lord in prayer. How long do I wander in the darkness of my life before I allow God to open my eyes and he did for Lehi? How long do you? The Lord is always there to answer our prayers, some answers come fast while others move at a slower pace. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, leads and directs us in the way the He knows will help us to learn and grow the most. Maybe Lehi needed to travel in his "dark and dreary waste" before he could truly appreciate the fruit of the Tree of Life which was "desirable to make one happy".

     I know that even in my darkest, most depressing times I have been able to call upon the Lord for support. I have been able to be lifted out of my lows and been brought to stand upon higher ground. I echo Lehi's son, Nephi when I say that I have trusted in my God and he has brought me forth from my afflictions! (2 Nephi 4: 16-35) Christ is the source of all happiness, of all peace. Do we often forget that though the world may seem exciting we will find all that we truly desire as we draw near unto our Savior Jesus Christ. 

     May we all, myself included, remember that when we find ourselves in darkness and in the depths of sadness, that there is always a road, a path, a helping hand that can lead us, show us, or help us back into the light of His love. It is my pleasure to echo His words as I invite others to do as He commanded. "Come, follow me" (Luke 18: 22), is what He said and we must leave all things behind which are not as He would have them be. These things I know to be true and I say them in His sacred name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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