I’ve been pondering an idea for a couple of days… If we will be humble, the Lord will refine us.
I am not being refined in some dramatic fashion. It’s on a small scale. No Saul/Paul or Alma experiences happening here. It’s more like a little every day. And frankly, though it is painful in the moment (like my teeth on the day I change my Invisaline braces trays), I can remember that ultimately these little adjustments are pointing my closer and closer to the Savior. Pain gives way to joy!
I have had occasions in my life when the Lord has given me opportunities to experience refinement. It is never easy. In fact, it is often painful and there were/are moments when I wonder if I can make it through the opportunity. The Lord finds a way to help me see my flaws and to acknowledge that my flaws are nothing to e ashamed of. He helps me to accept my flaws, look to the Savior, heal, and move on.
I’ve been intensely studying 1 Nephi and the life of Lehi these past few weeks. I am impressed with Lehi’s ability to accept the molding of the potter… the Lord and to to trust that the finished product is worth the efforts to sculpt and mold. Lehi lived a comfortable life in Jerusalem. He gave it all up to live in a tent in a dry, dangerous desert wilderness. He lived like that for eight years. I don’t think I could do that. It would be so easy to give up! It would be so easy to second guess myself and my abilities to receive revelation. In a way I am experiencing that now. It’s been months since my healthy life style changes has bore the fruits of weight loss. I still have 150 pounds to go to be in what doctors would say is “healthy.” There are days I am so frustrated and want to through the towel in… Then there are frustrations with employment and being over worked and underpaid and wondering if I am doing what God really wanted. Was this what He intended when I started down this path… Or family relationships. Those are tough because everyone has their agency…sometimes I find myself doubting the Lord’s personal commandments that He has given me because I am not seeing immediate results. Was I crazy? Am I dreamer?
Lehi did not doubt. He remained happy, optimistic, and persuasive when his family lost hope. He was grateful for the experiences that caused him to grow and to learn and to become more God-like.
“The most beautiful people I know are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
What do we do?
We remain faithfully. We struggle. We yearn for a better life. I am learning that I don’t wish for a life without struggles. It is through my struggles that I am learning who I am and what I can become. I am learning that my struggles pale into insignificance when I learn to love others and commit to serving others. I am learning that I can not assume that life will conform to my desires, rather, I must allow life to flow through me, unimpeded and absorb the energy and knowledge the experience offers me.
This takes faith. Elder Neil L. Anderson said, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. It is, as the scriptures say, “substance…/ the evidence of things not seen.” Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernible. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.”
That is what Lehi knew. That is the power that guided him through refining moments.