A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak in church and I wanted to revisit that talk today. Here it is below.
The topic given to us to speak on today is, PUTTING YOUR TRUST IN THE LORD. The first thing that comes to mind is of course FAITH. The opposite of faith is fear, and fear is one thing that I’ve really struggled with over the past couple years. So I was kind of excited to get to speak on this because it’s something I’ve been meaning to study up on. I think a lot of you can relate to the kind of fear I’m talking about. It’s the fear and worry that comes with being parents. We hear of all sorts of tragedies going on around us and we pray daily that God will protect our own little families from these sad awful things.
We know we are here on this earth to learn and grow through our trials and tribulations, but we still often fear and wonder why God will ALLOW bad things to happen.
Although I know and believe that God has a purpose for everything, I still sometimes lack the TRUST that no matter what happens, it will be OKAY.
We cannot comprehend completely why God allows certain things to happen, but there are many stories in the scriptures that can bring us a little more peace in the matter. Even though we can’t understand everything about it, we can understand SOME things.
First of all, God gave us Free Agency, which is a huge blessing, but also when not used wisely, can bring tragedy and suffering. He also said that there must be opposition in all things. We cannot know and appreciate the good if there wasn’t the bad.
I read a great article on this topic by a Christian Author, Lee Strobel. He brought up a good point. He said,“Look at it this way: many of you are parents. Even before you had children, couldn’t you foresee that there was the very real possibility they may suffer disappointment or pain or heartache in life, or that they might even hurt you and walk away from you? Of course—but you still had kids. Why? Because you knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning.”
Although pain and suffering is not good, one thing we know is that God can use it to accomplish good. Just like the scripture in D&C 122 says, all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good.
He promises to cause good to emerge if we’re committed to trust and follow him.
Another quote I want to share with you is from the same article by Lee Strobel.
“God took the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe- the death of God on the cross- and turned it into the very best thing that has happened in history of the universe: the opening up of heaven to all who follow Him. So if God can take the very worst circumstance imaginable and turn it into the very best situation possible, can he not take the negative circumstances of your life and create something good from them?”
He can and He will. God can use our suffering to draw us to Himself, to mold and sharpen our character, to influence others for Him- He can draw something good from our pain in a myriad of ways… if we trust and follow him.”
Recently I heard a great example on how our struggles will be turned into something great. It’s like making chocolate chip cookies. What if you ate each ingredient by itself? They weren’t meant to taste good by themselves, but when you mix them all together, THEN do they become something amazing! That’s how our lives are. All things work TOGETHER for our own good.
I remember back when I was in 6th grade. I lived in a small town called Tooelle. I absolutely loved it. I loved my neighborhood, my school, I had so many friends and was just completely happy and content. Then my parents told me we were moving back to Salt Lake. I was devastated. At the time, it seemed like my whole world was caving in. I only had a month left of 6th grade and then I would be starting junior high. Can you imagine? Going into junior high as the “new student”? How could my parents do this to me? I thought.
Well, we moved and I changed schools. I had to try to make friends fast before I entered those dreaded junior high years. It was not easy. In a matter of days I went from having lots of friends and feeling pretty “popular” to hiding out in the bathroom at lunch time because I was embarrassed I didn’t have anyone to sit with. It took me a few years to rebound from that. Junior high was hard, but high school turned out to be a lot of fun. Now when I look back at that experience, I’m grateful for it because I saw how it pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and make new friends. Not only that, but ten years later I realized even more why it was part of Gods plan for me. If I hadn’t of moved then, I would have never met my best friend who would one day introduce me to my husband. And of course I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.
The other day I woke up from having a dream that inspired me to share my friends Caeli’s story. She is actually a former mission companion of mine. We became good friends on the mission and have kept in touch ever since.
A couple of years ago she became pregnant with her first child. At the 5 month routine ultrasound appointment they discovered that their baby girl wasn’t developing properly and had no chance of surviving after delivery.
They continued out the pregnancy and delivered a beautiful baby girl whom they named Hope because of the deep hope they had that the doctors would be wrong and she would be their little miracle baby.
Sadly it wasn’t the case. She lived for 5 weeks until one night, passed away in her mothers arms.
My friend Caeli wrote all about her experience on her blog, Caeli Ocea and I wanted to share a portion of it. She is just such an great example of someone who has taken a tragic experience and turned it into something good by inspiring others. She allowed it to help her grow closer to Christ. She saw the beauty within the trial.
“The 37 days with Hope changed me…I try to have more patience with tele-marketers now. I say nicer things to the crazy drivers on the road. When I think of time, I don’t think 5 or 10 or 30 years down the road. I’m thinking about 60 or 70 when I join Hope and what I want to have become by then and what I can do now to be that way.
My time with Hope was THE sweetest, THE most consecrated time of my life. I know I walked with Christ. She made me feel like no one has ever made me feel. To this day I have never felt the exquisite happiness I felt watching Tyler hold and blow raspberries and talk to his little daddy’s girl. Hope’s smiles changed my world.
I can say that was the sweetest time of my life, not because every minute was peachy, but because of Hope and family and of what I was able to overcome. To me, the sense of accomplishment that I endured well, without ending up a bitter, fearful, doubtful person means everything. And in that sense, I have come to believe that hard knocks, or trials or whatever you call them are one of the most EMPOWERING things in our life. Sooo…Come what may, and love it.”
So I’m learning that instead of fearing what the future may hold, I can find peace and comfort in knowing that what ever happens, it’s all part of our Heavenly Father’s brilliant plan for us. To me, trusting the Lord is letting go of the fear of tomorrow and enjoying this day that I have right now, leaving the details of my future up to Him. I know that God wants us to learn important lessons in this life so that we might experience eternal happiness.