Friday, May 1, 2009

On Rest, Relief, Roses, and Redeeming Love

These roses from my garden are for my daughter-in-law, Heather, who isn't feeling well. I only wish she lived closer so I could fill a crystal vase with blossoms and put them on the dresser in her bedroom. It would make me very happy to think that she could look at them while she rests and be reminded how much she is loved.

As a mother, I often wish that I could absorb the trials and struggles of my children so they would not have to suffer them, but that is a selfish wish on my part. The Lord loves differently (perfectly), and His is the example parents who would truly support their children must follow. He affords each one of us ample opportunity to stretch and grow, to reach inside of ourselves and discover what He has known all along, that we are indeed His children, with strengths and abilities we might never have envisioned (or enlisted) otherwise. Learning to call upon our inner resources and feeling them expand as we do so is the blessing we came to earth to receive. Our goal is to become as our Father in Heaven is, and such progression does not happen in a vacuum.

Of course, we don't have to accomplish this goal alone, nor can we. Each time we reach the limits of our own endurance, His love and grace are always extended to carry us through. No problem will ever exceed His ability to comfort and sustain us, which means that no problem will ever be too great for us to bear.

There is a lot of suffering in the world right now...and even more fear. I feel it myself, nearly every day, but I am grateful to know the remedy. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). It's true. God gives only good gifts to His children, and He gives them freely. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:7-11) He is always there, willing to give us what we need, and He can be trusted to know what that is, even when we don't. 

Sometimes, in the midst of our trials, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the hardship is especially severe, we may even lose sight of the belief that He can or will help us. But He can help us. He will help us. He lived and died to help us. "For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). 

In fact, He will even help us believe, if we are willing to ask for that blessing. "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief" (Mark 9:24). And "...if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words" (Alma 32:27). His words will always be words of comfort and hope and everlasting truth and life. Safety and security, no matter what storms assail us, will unwaveringly lie in Him, the One who stilled the tempest and calmed the seas. "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea: Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm(Mark 4:39). He is there, standing ready to sustain and support us, but ours is the responsibility to seek Him with whatever faith we can muster, remembering that if we take the first step toward Him, He will supply the rest. "And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith" (Mark 4:40)? Faith is and must be a choice, and our task is to exercise even a particle of it (see Alma 32:27). All we need do, and surely this is far less difficult than the alternative, is humble ourselves, coming unto Christ with our burdens. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-29).

Life is a hard job, but it doesn't have to be a lonely one. This is the message I must constantly give myself, the one I too easily forget, and today I feel compelled to share it. The Lord is ever present for us, and walking with Him through the ups and downs of our journey will do more than make the road easier to travel; it will eventually lead us home. 

 Peace, My Child 
©1999, Awaken Your Spiritual Power, Susan Noyes Anderson

I thought I walked this earth alone,
beneath my burdens bowed,
until I found I could not bear 
their weight and cried aloud.

And echoing through the darkness
that had framed my solitude,
I heard my cries...first soft and low,
then gaining magnitude.

I prayed for pace within my soul,
deliverance from the night;
and finally, in the distance, I
beheld a flickering light.

The light grew strong and stronger still,
‘til it enveloped me.
The rays were warm and comforting;
I felt my anguish flee.

“Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid;
for I have known and loved you long
before this world was made.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace
I would to you impart;
and ye shall seek and find me
when ye search with all your heart.”

The voice spake from deep within;
I felt His calm o’ertake me.
With newfound faith, I knew at last
my Lord would not forsake me.

From this day forth, I’ll walk with God,
my Savior by my side.
Alone no more, His helping hand
will ever be my guide. 


Fiauna said...

Thank you for sharing such an uplifting post. Your poetry is so moving. I am so glad I found your blog.

Lisa said...

THANK YOU, that was beautiful and something to take out and read every day.. or at least once a week. Just Beautiful.. ( and good luck with those biscuts! "your a better man than I gunga-din")

Natalie said...

Beautiful as always dear and wise Sue. You made me tear a good way! :)
You never fail to inspire me!

karen said...

I was having such a frustrating day, and then I read your post. Cheered me up, warmed my heart. I make the mistake of thinking I'm alone in my struggles, but of course, I'm not. That beautiful piece of poetry reminded me of that. Thanks Sue.

karen said...

I got all caught up in the poetry, but I must add: your roses are lovely! If I were sick, would you send me a picture of them in a crystal vase?

jen said...

I felt like your roses were for me too! Thanks so much!

KC Mom said...

Such an inpsiring post. I feel the same way as a Mom, that I wish I could take away the pain and suffering from my children that they go through.
But I know if we will follow your wise counsel we will get through our dark days...and so will our children.

Lisa Loo said...

That is about the 10th time I have read or heard that passage of scripture "Lord help my unbelief" in the last month. Think the Lord is telling me something??!!

Beautiful, beautiful, poem---what a lovely gift you have..

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