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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monstrous Waves and Furious Winds

"Some of our struggles involve making decisions, while others are a result of the decisions we have made. Some of our struggles result from choices others make that affect our lives. We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations."   --L. Lionel Kendrick

image: fineartamerica.com
I just finished reading in Ether about Jared and his brother and their trip to the promised land. I read that no matter how monstrous the waves became and no matter how fiercely the winds blew, they were thankful.

They were in their boats for nearly a year, but they, that entire time, sang praises and recognized the "multitude of tender mercies" that came their way.

It was the little things, not some huge, life shattering, miraculous event that got them there. It was the little things--the little evidences of God's existence--that brought them through to a better place.

All good things come from God. They recognized that and gave thanks for every good thing that came their way.

So often, I glom onto the bad in my life. What good does that do?

The Jaredites had a huge thing going for them. They knew where good things came from, and they were grateful for them. It mentions the monster waves and the furious winds, but those things, they recognized, drove them to where they needed to be. Had those things not existed, they would have been at a standstill, but the wind and waves never ceased. Never.

image: missaday.blogspot.com
I look at the waves and winds in my life, and I sigh and groan about them. Today, I learned from these people that I'm looking at things in my life all wrong. 

The Jaredites prayed continually. Of course, they didn't know exactly where their journey was taking them. They were in ark-like boats. They couldn't see a thing. They put themselves in and pushed off. That was it. It was a complete trust thing.

Isn't that life for everyone? Does anyone really know where they're headed? Even when we're headed in a direction that we like, there are so many things we can't control and things that hold back our progression.

I am coming to understand more and more that I (and anyone) can ask for help at any given moment and receive tender mercies even for the smallest things in my life. It's vitally important to remember, though, that those things, no matter how small or how large, are still blowing me and pushing me toward where I need to be. I need to be thankful, continually, for these things, but first, I MUST recognize them.

image: sherriejohnson.blogspot.com
It's my response that matters in this journey being a happy one or a sad one. Seeking to pray for the things I don't like or don't understand and clinging to every good thing no matter how small or large (the multitude of tender mercies) that happen, recognizing where they've come from, and giving thanks for them will make this journey a joyful one. No matter what the struggles may be.

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