Sunday, February 2, 2014

Getting help, one step at a time

As Ben already said, it's been a hard few weeks for us =)  Fortunately things are getting better, and we appreciate everyone who has helped us and offered love and support.

I have noticed that as I have struggled with my health the last few weeks I have been more and more specific about what I need in my prayers. Sometimes it was just "please help me feel like getting up in the morning". It was really hard at first, because I wanted Him to push the "easy button" for me and make everything better. What I have found is that rather than make everything better for me all at once, He gave me the help I needed in little bits and pieces. Maybe I didn't feel really great in the morning and I didn't feel like I could get up, but He made it snow so that Ben needed help getting out the door earlier so that he could make it to work on time. In getting up to help Ben, I didn't feel that great at first. However, after half an hour of getting going and getting him out the door, I had more energy. So even though I didn't feel great in the morning, God still answered my prayer by giving me a reason to get up.

He also sent people to give me encouragement. Sometimes it was a text, sometimes it was a phone call, sometimes a message on facebook or an email. I don't think most of them ever knew that their "hey how are you" was a much needed pick-me-up. I also received encouragement through music and reading some books we have in our apartment, as well as reading in the scriptures. Every time I felt that something was meant just for me, I could tell that God was placing the right thing at the right time in my life, even though it was something really small. He didn't answer my prayers by fixing everything at once, but rather by fixing little problems one at a time so that I could notice and appreciate each one. It also helped me to see that I'm more capable than I think I am - of course, only with His help. I'm grateful for the strength He gave me to keep going when I didn't feel like I could anymore.

I know that at some point we will all be in a situation where we feel like we just can't keep going. I promise that God is there during those times. He is helping you, even if you don't receive everything you need all at once. It is important to recognize and accept His help even when we would have preferred a different answer. Don't ever stop praying or expressing your needs to Him. He will always be there to care for us.

I was studying faith in my scriptures this week and came across something interesting in the Bible Dictionary.  Many people think that if God is really there, that He will answer them by parting their Red Sea or healing their sickness or moving their mountains, because we always read about those kinds of answers to prayer in the scriptures. In the Bible Dictionary it explains that God had his prophets write about those miraculous events, not as a way of saying "this is how God answers prayers," but rather so that we could come to know the characteristics and attributes of God. In those stories we learn how powerful, perfect, all knowing, just, merciful, and understanding He is.  He wants us to know that He is like that so that we will turn to Him in times of need and so that we will not have any reason to doubt Him. He gave us those examples of what He can do so that we will trust that He knows us and how to best help us.

While He may not move our mountains with a snap of His finger, He does hand us a shovel and say "I'll give you the strength to move it, one scoop at a time". He may not part the sea in front of us, but He will teach us how to build a boat to sail across it, no matter how hard the storms are. He may not heal us of our sicknesses, but He gives us the strength to live a joyous and fulfilling life in spite of them (my parents are perfect examples of this).  I'm so grateful that He knows us and helps us, even if it's just a little bit at a time. I know that we will always receive help if we have the faith to ask for it and act on what He tells us to do.

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