"How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth."

~Psalm 119:103

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Divinely Possible

On Monday morning, my alarm went off at five o'clock, just as I had intended. Although I'm not a morning person, I had to get my son to the school early so he could do a make-up timed run for his fitness class, which ironically enough, he'd missed by participating in the region championship cross-country race.

I had started the weekend physically and emotionally exhausted. Though I had tried to re-charge by sleeping late on Saturday morning, an emotionally taxing phone call and the realization that I'd forgotten about an impending deadline just raised my stress level higher. Having decided to "just keep swimming," I had made some progress - but I was still tired and worn out.

As I sat on the edge of my bed trying to gather the strength to start my day, I quickly reviewed the calendar. "We need to leave the house by 6:30," I thought, "or as close to that as humanly possible."

Almost immediately the thought entered my mind that nothing was "humanly possible." Not one item on my to-do could be accomplished by relying on my human abilities. Yet, with God all things were possible (see Luke 1:37).

My son and I could leave the house by as close to 6:30 as divinely possible.

"Help, please," I prayed.

And His grace was sufficient (see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Grace Shall Be As Your Day"
Out of the Best Books No. 6

Emily Freeman loves the word of God like I do, and I find so many of her insights immensely valuable. In this short book, she outlines six lessons to help us as we wait for the answers or the miracles we need, according to the Lord's promise:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised (Jeremiah 33:14).

My favorite of the lessons is Recognize and Remember His Mercy. The hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints" contains the line grace shall be as your day. In other words, "Grace will be given as your day requires." The hymn "How Firm a Foundation" teaches this same principle: "As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be." Says Emily:
I believe in a God who continually ministers to His people. ... A friend told me that in Finnish the phrase tender mercies is written lempeät armoteot, which translates directly as "gentle works of grace." I love that translation. The Lord is tender and gentle in His ministry to us.

The Lord very literally poured out blessings from heaven on the children of Israel. "Behold, I will rain bread from heave for you; ... in the morning bread to the full; ... and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God" (Exodus 16:4, 8, 12). He will pour out blessings on us too. "I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those who He hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance" (1 Nephi 1:20).

Great power comes from recognizing and remembering the hand of God in our lives. Henry B. Eyring taught, "[As] we come to see the hand of God more clearly ... in time we not only remember Him, but we come to love Him and, through the power of the Atonement, become more like Him" ("O Remember, Remember," General Conference, October 2007).

A related lesson is Trust God's Heart. Emily writes about the quote that hangs on the wall of her mother's bedroom:

When you can't see God's hand,
trust His heart.

Words that we can cling to when find ourselves wondering about God's purposes can be found in the Apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans:
If God be for us, who can be against us? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:31, 35, 37).

Note of Explanation: Part of my 10-week plan for summer this year was to read one short, inspirational book each Sunday afternoon and ponder on what I can learn from it. This blog post represents part of my efforts to do that.