Anyway, I've been wanting to bear my testimony in this ward for the last few months, but I always feel like it's overkill to do it when I also teach a Sunday school lesson the same day. Both of my roommates got up to bear their testimonies, and I would have gotten up to bear mine, but then a dozen people got up before I decided to and we ended up finishing late as it was. And I never want to be the person that makes everyone stay late because I just had to say it.
Anyway (again), this is going to be my forum for the thoughts I would have shared today...
Recently I have been reading a lot from the gospels. I'm actually working on getting through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John before the end of the year. I guess I just kind of feel it's the appropriate season to be reading about Christ's life. Additionally, I've also been reading the General Conference edition of the Ensign.
As I've been reading recently, what I've really been impressed with is just how much hope these different sources of scripture give to me, and I just love it. I love reading the words of our modern day prophets and for whatever reason, I've been finding it really comforting to hear the specific counsel they give to guard ourselves, our thoughts, etc. I think because it reminds me that I'm not alone in my struggles, and that it's not out of the ordinary to have weaknesses and to sometimes - and maybe even frequently - feel doubt.
Last night I was reading in Mark 9, and probably just like everyone else, I love when the father of the sick girl asks Jesus to heal his daughter, and Christ says, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.I can only imagine how much that must have tugged at the heart of the Savior to hear that father's desperate and entirely humble plea to heal his daughter. Lord, I believe that you can heal my daughter, but please, help me so that it's enough that you can work a miracle for her.
There are a lot of ways in which I can express that exact same sentiment. Lord, I believe that you can:
- Help me to get through the rest of my program and build up a significant body of work to put on my resume
- Help me overcome my many, and sometimes, all too glaring personal inadequacies
- Help me find meaningful and relevant work
- Help me to get out of my own way so that I'm not single for the rest of my life
- Bless my family so that they can receive the gospel
- Heal my mother's/friend's broken hearts
What's so wonderful about the gospel is that we are so not on our own. There is an abundance of earthly resources and people available to us to help us overcome, but more importantly, we have the Lord who is ever present and ever desirous for our success and eventual triumph over the obstacles that face us.
And I have to believe that God is always waiting and yearning for us to seek out his help in our struggles. I love the frequency of the injunction that he issues to us - ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
The blessings are there and they are available, but we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to allow him to tip his hand and help us. Not only the asking part, but just like the father of the sick child, we need to be asking for that additional strengthening as well, and doing what we can to make our faith manifest, however small that offering may be.
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.