Thursday, January 29, 2015

Particularized Challenges

It has been a great and terrible week.  Terrible because there has been waiting and restlessness followed by disappointment and heartache.  And great because there have been so many answers to so many prayers. 

The thing that I've noticed, though, is that heartache and sadness and discouragement may look different on the outside for different people, but on the inside it all feels the same. Each person in my family and a few close friends have struggled with some major emotional catastrophe this week, and although difficult to manage with a few of us sprinkled across the country, it has been moderately comforting to know that there is some level of compassion binding all of us together.  Somehow knowing that you're not the only one climbing an endless mountain seems to make the mountain a little less foreboding.  

Neal A. Maxwell gave an amazing devotional at BYU called But For a Small Moment that was such a huge help this week.

"I'm not sure we can always understand the implications of God's love, because his love will call us at times to do things we may wonder about, and we may be confronted with circumstances we would rather not face. I believe with all my heart that because God loves us there are some particularized challenges that he will deliver to each of us. He will customize the curriculum for each of us in order to teach us the things we most need to know. He will set before us in life what we need, not always what we like. And this will require us to accept with all our hearts the truth that there is divine design in each of our lives and that we have rendezvous to keep, individually and collectively."

In the temple this morning, those words "particularized challenges" seemed more comforting than they did earlier in the week when I first read them.  What a huge blessing to know that we have a Heavenly Father who has designed even our challenges to bring about the best possible potential in us, and to draw us nearer to our Savior.  Because ultimately, that's the whole reason we're here.  

There are very few hard things that I enjoy doing.  And this week has been filled with way too many of them.  But I think Heavenly Father knows that nothing compels me to move like love and loyalty.  There are a handful of people in my life that I love enough to attempt to climb an occasional mountain for.  

I can't even tell you all the things I've learned this week about my personal challenges and about being elevated to a new level.  I think there is much in our lives that we can do with just our own strength, will, and determination.  But eventually there will be something that requires us to acknowledge our complete weakness and inability to climb on our own, and we will be brought to our knees to ask for help from someone much stronger, much more willing, and more determined than we could ever hope to be.  

In the presence of God, . . . all things . . . are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord” (D&C 130:7). The future “you” is before him now. He knows what it is he wishes to bring to pass in your life. He knows the kind of remodeling in your life and in mine that he wishes to achieve."

Although I'm not at all comfortable with the "remodeling" process, I am grateful for the most amazing Designer who is constantly at work in my life and in all of our lives, turning us into things we could never be on our own.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love this post - I feel like it really applies to lots of stuff going on in my life right now as well - so even though I haven't visited your blog for a while, perhaps it is not coincidence that I decided to take a few minutes to stop by today. Thanks so much.