Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Faith Helps Us Grow

I mentioned last month in a post a time when I was stressed and asked for a priesthood blessing. There was a cool lesson I learned with it that I shared a few days later in my ward (local church congregation) and with my family (via email).

One of the worries/fears that triggered my asking for a priesthood blessing was the fear of inadequacy - that I won't be good enough to pass all the tests in life. I wanted reassurance that "Yes - you can do it and you will be successful." Instead, I got some other wonderful blessings... but no direct answer like I was looking for. As I meditated on it for a while, I realized that while I didn't get the answer I wanted, I got an answer, and it was the one I needed.

In the blessing, I was told to rely on Heavenly Father with the simple faith that I know naturally and instinctively to act on. It's taken time to make faith a natural instinct for me - I hadn't even realized it was one (and that said, it's still a struggle sometimes) - but faith is the answer to my question "Can I make it?"

How can I grow in life unless I'm challenged? If I have all the answers, then life would be a breeze without exerting much effort on my part, and that would kind of defeat the purpose of life. Making decisions and acting on them are a significant factor in determining who I am. This life that we have has been given is a gift, and is given to us so that we may become something. Life is a long process of development. Why would a loving God take away from me the chance to develop my faith and become a stronger, deeper person?

I'm glad that Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves, and that He gives the best gifts (Luke 11:11, 13). He knows that I would benefit more from an answer of "faith" than an answer of "yes." He is always ready and waiting to give us more gifts and more knowledge - a lot of times, He's just waiting for us to ask and put some effort in! Because I know these things (and because I know about the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation/Happiness), I can move forward with peace, confidence, and happiness as I exercise my faith and trust my life in God's hands.

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