Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good Things To Come...

"For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of 'good things to come'"--Jeffrey R. Holland

Let me just start off by saying that I'm sort of a brat about people posting religious things and scriptures on their social media sites.  Even when it's my own religion or I believe the same thing, I tend to skip over their statuses and blog posts thinking thoughts to myself that I don't need to recount here.  So I totally understand if this is not really your thing.

The other night, though, I was having one of those nights.  The kind everybody has once in a while...when the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be mostly clouded over, feelings of despair settle in as easily as if you'd invited them, and the clouds seemed to be lined with a little more grey than silver.  It took me a couple of hours of thinking, tossing, and turning before I remembered that I have a Heavenly Father looking out for me who doesn't want me to feel overwhelmed or downtrodden.  I looked up a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland and was moved to tears by the compassion and love he expressed on behalf of the Lord.  

This video went viral a few years ago with the Mormon community, and I loved it then, but it cut out some of his message that really comforted and touched me the other night.  It's 5 minutes long, but it's a story about never giving up and it is really really great--even if you aren't LDS.  (The best part is at 4:00 minutes I think.)  It's about God's love, and that, I believe, is always worth hearing about.  

"Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

Isn't that great?  I love it, but the best part of the talk for me was actually a completely different section.  Elder Holland focused on the counsel found in John 16:33 to "be of good cheer".  He discussed how the Savior faced the stormy seas with the apostles before he told the waves to be still.  Only someone who has already experienced the sorrows and trials we have is justified in telling us to be calm and still in the midst of them.  When he says to "be of good cheer", it isn't some "jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking", but in actuality, "Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them".  This touched me because everyone struggles with trials, but in this day and age, I feel like we sometimes praise positive thinking and treat it like it's a cure-all to everyone's problems, but "we are not shallow people if we struggle".   

I loved that he acknowledged that while positivity is obviously helpful and ideal, the Lord is not asking us to always just choose to be happy.  He himself has experienced our sorrows and griefs, and he knows our pains.  What he asks us to do is believe.  He asks us to believe that there are good things to come, to understand that he will not forsake us, and to have faith that blessings will come--whether in this life or the next, they will come.  

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