Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Christ is the Hope in a road that doesn't seem to end

The road I have been traveling on has seemed overwhelmingly long for quite some time now. I was pondering and praying about my road on my way back from an internship when I passed two guys walking. I took a second look as I glanced over in confusion of how they got where they were and how would they ever get off.

I was on the freeway as two guys were walking along the left side opposite to where the exits were of a very busy highway. I immediately prayed for these two guys, where were they going and what were they doing? I couldn't figure it out as I tried to recall the last exit I had seen, it had been quite a bit of distance back and there was quite a bit of distance ahead until the next exit. Let alone walking on the freeway has to be one of the most dangerous situations you could put yourself in.

My mind began to panic as I looked at the long and perilous road that laid before them, and even if they did make it safely to the exit, how would they cross to get off with cars flying by at 75 miles per hour? I prayed harder for them. I prayed for their safety. I prayed for what seemed like a despairing journey in my mind that they would find hope ahead. 

As I pondered what I had just seen, I knew that no matter how difficult or fearsome that situation might have been, hope would certainly be found. Perhaps someone would see them and be braver than I to give these two guys a ride. Perhaps possibilities would come for them that I hadn't thought of or am unaware could even be a possibility. All I knew is what seemed to be the most despairing road I would ever want to be on I knew hope still lied ahead.

Elder Holland once said, "Often in our most difficult times the only thing we can do is endure. We may have no idea what the final cost in suffering or sacrifice may be, but we can vow never to give up. In doing so we will learn that there is no worthy task so great nor burden so heavy that will not yield to our perseverance. We can make it. . . however long and hard the road."

Sometimes we are called to be placed upon a long and treacherous road, a road we just don't want to be on. A road that tempts us believe we are set up to suffer defeat all along. A road that brings us an urge to have thoughts of surrender. But then I think of our Savior and redeemer, the one who suffered so much agony and pain on our behalf. The one that loves us perfectly and knows exactly what we are going through and the pain that we are facing. The one that offers us hope and peace in the moments we need it most. If Christ was willing to go through all that he did for us, surely there must be hope ahead. Surely this path we are placed upon would not be the end.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we read of Joseph Smith in Carthridge jail. We read of his agonizing moments where we wonders how much longer he has to wait and why he is being faced with so much pain and turmoil after all he has already sacrificed... it says:

 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;

 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
Those sound like a lot of REALLY hard and REALLY difficult things to go through "IF" they come true. The word if was just mentioned ten times in these verses. Ten scary IFS to be faced with. I'm a worst-case scenario kind of girl, I think so much about what could and would happen in different situations. I try really hard not to let fear define me but sometimes I become overwhelmed in my mind about everything that could possibly go wrong...and yet did you read the last Thirteen words of verse 7? Thirteen life-changing, hope-bringing words that bring an incredible happy ending to our journey whatever it may be "All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." No matter what we are faced with, no matter what if's in our life come true, it will be for our good. The Lord promises us that! He promises that no matter how dark or dreary our days may be, it will all be for our good! Aaah that brings such hope to darkest days. 
I'm still waiting for the day to come when I have perfect faith. The day when I'm faced with a very hard trial and I don't question it, I don't complain about it, I don't ask I and I just fall into the arms of my Savior without any hesitation at all. Perfectly and wholeheartedly trusting without any fear. That day isn't here, and sadly I don't think I am going to experience that day until the afterlife, but for now I will keep pressing forward in faith knowing that Heavenly Father desires me full and complete happiness and everything that I am faced with will be for my good!
Those days when you are on a long and treacherous road, where it doesn't seem like the end will ever arrive, those are the days Christ teaches us a little bit more about hope. Those are the moments when we desire our hope to be changed the most and we desire to become more than we have ever desired in our life, and yet they are the moments where we feel like we are changing the least. The times we are becoming who Heavenly Father desires us to be, achieving the divine potential He saw in us all along are the moments when we see it the least. It wouldn't be a test of faith if we saw where we were going all along.
When you can't see where you're going and you can't imagine how you're going to get there, I promise you that you are closer than you think. Christ steps in after all we can do and He fills the gaps. I like to think of "all we can do" as time passing by verses checking things off of the list. Sometimes we fall short of the list we had planned for ourselves, but when we make an effort and Heavenly Father sees that effort, it's just a matter of time and patience before every single gap we need to have filled will be! Christ is our hope, do you believe? Do you know that? If not, keep walking, keep staying on the journey. 
This quote is one of my new favorites -
"Another affirmative endowment of grace is the gift of hope which blesses with the state of mind necessary to deal with the gap between where we are, and where we seek to be. - Elder Bruce C. Hafen

I LOVE this mormon message by Elder Holland

I testify that things will get better, if you aren't happy with where you are or where you think you are headed, just know and believe that this isn't the end. Good things will come to those who keep walking and keep trying. Christ is our ONLY hope at arriving at the destination we diligently seek with the only hope we have.

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