Saturday, August 30, 2008

So I had this epiphany...

I was driving home from work and it came to me. Actually, I was listening to a country song. Don't know the name of it, but it's a man talking about his family and there's this line that says, "little blue-eyed blonde with her shoes on wrong cuz she likes to dress herself." So that got me thinking about little kids and how they all get to a point where they want to be independent and start refusing help from their parents. Of course, if they fall down and get a booboo they always come crying to their parents for help then. But there are definitely those times when they want so badly to do things for themselves that they reject their parents' help even if it's to their detriment.

So I realized that this is exactly how we act with Heavenly Father! It's not a bad thing, but it is totally necessary for us to leave His presence (come to earth) and really learn things for ourselves. He is always there for us if we get hurt or scared, but He knows that we need independence and experience to progress. There was this great quote by Lorenzo Snow in the July Ensign that says, "We believe that we are the offspring of our Father in heaven, and that we possess in our spiritual organizations the same capabilities, powers and faculties that our Father possesses, although in an infantile state, requiring to pass through a certain course or ordeal by which they will be developed and improved according to the heed we give to the principles we have received."

Love that quote.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Living by faith, not fear

Today was one of those days where it seemed like everything I heard at church was presented JUST FOR ME. I love days like that. Except days when it's like, "REPENT, JENN!" Those days aren't as fun, but still just as important. Anyway, today was a good day. The most important thing I got out of church today was to LIVE BY FAITH, NOT FEAR. It's ridiculous to make decisions (or rather, NOT make decisions) because we are afraid! And yet I do it all the time. I'm afraid to quit my job, I'm afraid to start a new job, I'm afraid to go back to school, I'm afraid to move here or there, I'm afraid to date this person, I'm afraid to stand up for myself, I'm afraid to share the gospel...yada, yada, yada. I basically just exposed my every weakness, but whatever. I don't want to be afraid anymore. I realized that every time I make a decision (or fail to make a decision) based on fear, I am showing God that I don't have enough faith in Him that things will work out!

When it comes down to it, what I'm really afraid of is loss. Loss of life, loss of love, loss of income, loss of dignity, etc. Earlier this week, I was reading the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. I love that parable. Lazarus was a beggar. He had poor health, no food, and we can safely assume he also had no home and probably no friends. I don't know how his life evolved into him being a poor, sick beggar, but the point is, he experienced profound loss. But God, being the just and merciful God He is, comforted Lazarus when he died to make up for the bad things that happened during his life. What I learned from this regarding loss is that whatever is lost in this life will be restored. If we die, we will live again. If we experience heartache, we will be comforted. If we endure injustices for Christ's sake, we will be rewarded. Often, God comforts us during this life. But sometimes, we must wait to receive our reward. Either way, He will not leave us comfortless.

That's pretty much all I have on this subject. Anyone else have thoughts on how to live by faith, not fear?