Have you ever been wandering around in the dark? Not knowing where you are going? Not knowing where the end of your current journey is? Have you ever felt like that is where you should be, even if you didn’t understand why? Have you felt like there are things you need to do, but don’t know how they are going to be accomplished? So do I.
This week has been particularly challenging for me, my heart and my faith. I honestly don’t ever remember a time when I have struggled so hard to do the right thing, please my Heavenly Father and travel through the times of trials. I truly feel that I am helpless and don’t know how to help resolve the situation we find ourselves in. This is a test of faith.
It is amazing how inspiration works. Reading the scriptures is very therapeutic to me. I love to study the life of Jesus Christ and those He chose to lead his church. I started reading in the Book of Mormon earlier this week. Nephi is amazing. He was asked to do so many things without a full explanation and his response was always the same, “I will go and do the things the Lord commands.” Simple and powerful all at the same time.
I love how the scriptures are the same, yet with each reading they change to answer the questions we have. The words never change, but our heart does. This time as I read about Nephi and his quest to get the brass plates for his family I noticed new things that touched my soul. As he walks into Jerusalem not knowing where to go or how to accomplish the mission he was on he said, “And I was led by the Spirit, now knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” (1 Nephi 4:6) I could feel that all he knew to do was keep moving forward and by so doing Heavenly Father would guide his footsteps.
It didn’t end there. As Nephi moved forward he came upon a man passed out in the street. This was the man who had tried to kill him and his brothers, because he was the guardian of the brass plates and didn’t want to let go of them. Laban was right there before Nephi. The Spirit of the Lord constrained Nephi to kill this man. Obviously this was out of the comfort zone of Nephi, because he said, “And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart; Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.” (1 Nephi 4:10) He was in a position that he simply didn’t know how to proceed, because doing so would go against everything he felt, saw and believed. Again the Spirit constrained him to kill the man so that they could accomplish what they had been asked to do. Only then, did Nephi kill this person. As a result the nation they would create would have the word of God with them.
As I read this passage of scripture I became aware of the reality of God’s hand in situations that are truly difficult. I saw that this rock of a man had a moment when he just didn’t know how to move forward. It was of great comfort to me as I have done things this week that I knew I needed to do, but they went against everything I saw and felt. There have been more than one terrifying moments this week. I wish I could say that I handled them with grace and poise, however the truth is I didn’t. However I did move forward.
Faith is an interesting power. There are times when we exercise it that we are calm and almost giddy because we feel it giving us strength. There are other times when we exercise it and the ‘path’ is scary, dark and truly beyond what we think we can handle. Those are the times when moving forward is like walking through cement, with our heart pounding and we are unable to breathe. I know that there is light somewhere up ahead, however for the time being, I will rely on the examples of those who have gone before me and done some pretty incredible things because of their faith.