Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Patient in All Their Sufferings

This has seemed to become a sort of scriptural journal for me. I am deeply enjoying the interaction and comments on my thoughts that have been shared. Thank you all for calling me into check when I begin to depart from doctrine and for supporting me in my attempts to learn. I love this aspect of the internet: that those who would not otherwise have a chance to do so may share thoughts and learning and support each other in coming to Christ.

I have a deep, enduring personal sorrow which I have been struggling with for some time. The specifics are not something I care to share here, but today it was particularly poignant. I prayed more earnestly than I often do that in my reading today I would be led to something that would help me cope. I began reading Alma, chapter 20. In this chapter, the newly converted King Lamoni goes with Ammon to release his fellow missionaries, who have been captured and poorly treated.

Their missionary service up to this time has been starkly different from Ammon's. They had gone among those who, at least in part, came from the priests of Noah. These were a people hardened in rebellion against God, with no room for the Spirit in their hearts. Although Aaron, who was Ammon's brother, had the same experiences with conversion as Ammon and likely the same depth and zeal of Spirit, he was not so successful as Ammon. He had been in prison for a long time, certainly months.

As I read this chapter, I was trying to find the answer to my heart's yearning for peace. I was seeking for it in the encounter with Lamoni's father, likening the participants in the story to certain situations in mine. While I read, I got the feeling that I was stretching the application in order to get what I wanted from the scriptures, so I gave up on it and simply read, feeling my hopes for comfort crumble somewhat. Then, as I read verse 29, the answer and the Spirit sprang at me. I knew that the Lord had answered my pleas once again in the simplest and most beautiful of ways and not in the complicated meanings I was attempting to wrest from the scriptures. The verse lists the many pains, humiliations and discomforts they underwent, and then adds "nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings."

Just like that, I had the strength to go on a little longer. The Spirit gifted me with the knowledge of what I am to do. It may not be the answer to simply be patient with every affliction that crosses our paths, but it is for this one, for now. The Lord has reassured that our patience will not be without comfort for "I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." How I love Him! When all else fails me, even myself, He is there—eternally there—waiting to comfort and love me.

5 comments :

  1. SilverRain,
    Your obvious efforts not just to study but to really glean from the scriptures is inspiring to me. Too often my efforts are sporadic and less than enthusiastic. As I see the strength and joy you receive from your diligence, I'm motivated to try just a little harder myself.

    About your post, your experience reminds me of Mosiah 2:24 that Heavenly Father immediately blesses us when we strive to keep the commandments. It also reminded me of the scripture in Proverbs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

    Thank you for sharing your experiences....

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  2. Alma 20:29 has been a great source of comfort for me, also.

    I also am always strengthened when I listen to the Tabernacle Choir sing "The Pilgrims' Hymn." They have edited the text to use the KJV English pronouns & verb forms, so I'm including that version of the words.

    Even before we call on Thy name
    To ask Thee, O God,
    When we seek for the words to glorify thee,
    Thou hearest our prayer;
    Unceasing love, O unceasing love,
    Surpassing all we know.

    Glory to the Father,
    And to the Son,
    And to the Holy Spirit.

    Even with darkness sealing us in,
    We breathe Thy name,
    And through all the days that follow so fast,
    We trust in Thee;
    Endless Thy grace, O endless Thy grace,
    Beyond all mortal dream.

    Both now and for ever,
    And unto ages and ages,
    Amen.

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  3. Another great post. Thanks.

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  4. Jim - thank you. I must admit that I am far too like those described in scripture, as being much more likely to turn to God in times of affliction and begin to forget Him when things are easy. I am glad that my posts have helped motivate you.

    I have long loved that verse from Psalms. I think the hard time comes when He doesn't immediately tell you what action to take. I suppose I am a person of action. I like to solve problems as soon as they are presented. Sometimes, however, the problem needs time to be solved. I am bad at waiting.

    RoAnn - what a beautiful hymn! I'd not heard that one before. Now I shall have to try to track it down and listen to it. Thank you!

    m&m - thank you!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with the scriptures, it reminds me how important DAILY reading is.

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