Tag Archives: Scriptures

I Will Not Leave You Comfortless

Tonight in my scripture study class someone asked why God sometimes seems to leave us when we need him most. He quoted the scripture, “I will not leave you comfortless” and then asked why that didn’t seem to be true at times.

I thought about this for a minute and my mind rested on the word “leave”. Sometimes we do feel comfortless. Sometimes it feels as though God has abandoned us, that we are hopeless, helpless, and alone. Sometimes in our times of greatest need we will wonder where God is and why he would leave us when we’re doing everything right, when we are doing our best to follow Him and do His will. But that word “leave” is very important. He does not say, “I will not allow you to be comfortless,” or “I will not let you feel alone.” He says that He will not leave us that way.

I struggle with depression, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, anxiety, and more. I do not ask why bad things happen to good people; I simply know that they do. But I have never had something bad happen to me that I wasn’t grateful for eventually. The darkness is sometimes a very lonely place, but I know that if I can just hold on long enough, I will not be left comfortless.

This week and the week before have been incredibly difficult. I have felt like I am trudging through waist-deep mud simply getting up in the morning and doing the day to day necessities of life. Tonight though, I felt okay enough to go to my class. I don’t think that was a coincidence. I don’t think that comment or my comment in response were coincidences.

It may have been a small thing, but reasons like that give me hope in the darkness. Tomorrow, life may feel hard again. I may feel depressed and alone, but if that means I can help someone else see the light, I would go through the darkness over and over.

Hold on.

He will not leave you comfortless.

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Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

This is one of my favorite scriptures. I have a lot of fear in my head. I fear people. I fear what they can do. I fear being rejected or hurt or yelled at or ignored by others. When I want to do good, my mind tells me that I should not because I fear being hurt.

I love this scripture so much though because it is the reason I keep doing good anyway. Even though my mind tells me all of the reasons I am not good enough and all of the reasons I have to fear, my heart tells me to love anyway. I keep doing good because I know “perfect love casteth out fear.”

I do not love perfectly. I do not love even close to perfectly. And I pray constantly and consistently to love more and to love better. Today in church we talked about this chapter and one of my favorite people commented about how she can understand God because she understands love. I thought about how I don’t understand love. I understand a glimpse of love. I understand the surface of love, but I struggle to understand what it means to love and be loved.

However, I have also been learning about compassion. “In the scriptures, compassion means literally to suffer with. I understand suffering. I understand what it feels like to suffer with someone. I am not sure if that is the same thing as love, but I know that I feel love when I show compassion. And because I feel love when I show compassion, I tell my fears to be quiet for the moment while I do something good.

I am still afraid of doing good. I still fear the consequences of being kind. But I remember to love anyway and that love casts out fear, even if just for a minute while I do something good. I cannot love perfectly right now, but I can love right now. I can do good right now despite the fear, and I can let that love cast out fear for a moment until the day where the fear will be dispelled with perfect love.

The Price of Discipleship

Everyone must pay a price to know God.

The price can be emotional, physical, financial, internal, external, or any number of ways. But it is a price we choose to pay to learn how to trust God.

Usually it’s God that chooses the price and we choose whether or not to pay it. Sometimes though we decide to pay a higher price than God originally gave us, in order to secure a better reward.

Talking about it like this makes it seem so easy. In truth, it’s one of the most difficult things in the world.

At some point, we all must decide if we are willing to pay the price it takes to get to know God. Are we willing to accept the trials and problems and heartache we are given and trust in God through the process? Are we willing to feel broken and torn, uncomfortable and misunderstood, lost and hopeless? Are we willing to give up what looks like happiness to experience what we feel will bring true happiness?

Don’t take me wrong, following God should be a happy process. In fact, it should make us the happiest people in the world. But… in the midst of that happiness are times of darkness, depression, and despair. Christ was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) As Paul says, “We are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17) We must be willing to suffer with Christ to be joint heirs with him.

Lately, I have been going through rough times. Possibly the hardest part of these times is that I know that I am responsible for my own suffering. You see, I asked God for more trials. It wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful for the blessings. I just didn’t feel as close to God as I wanted to be. So I told God that I would be willing to give up the easiness of my life if it meant I could become closer to him.

And so, here I am, a few hundred tears later with probably a few hundred tears left to go. And I wonder, is this really the price I am willing to pay to know God? My mind tells me I’m crazy, but my heart tells me, yes, it is. This is the price I am willing to pay and will continue to be willing to pay because God is worth more to me than the easiness of the way.

Painting of Christ

I have been planning and practicing a painting for the last few months and I finally finished it last night. It’s a painting of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The idea to paint this came when I was looking at other paintings of Christ in the Garden. I noticed that most of them had Jesus kneeling. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own desperate prayers. When I have prayed in my most desperate moments, I am generally on the floor with my head in my hands. I know that Christ is better than me and that He wasn’t a normal human being, but I just couldn’t see Him kneeling perfectly upright while suffering for the entire human race.

Then I thought about how hard it must have been for Heavenly Father to watch His only begotten Son suffer and not be able to go to Him. I imagined that He would be embracing our Heavenly Mother and comforting her while sorrowing Himself. And I imagined that everyone else in heaven would be sorrowing with them.

Next I thought about the angel that God sent to comfort His Son. I wondered what I would do if I had been sent to strengthen Christ. How would I comfort Him while knowing that I would be part of why He suffered? And the only thing I could think of was that I would cry with Him. That’s what Jesus did for Mary and Martha. He wept even though He knew that everything would be okay. Even though Christ knew that Lazarus’s death would eventually bring hope and joy to everyone who believed in Him, He wept because He had compassion. And I think that the angel sent to comfort Christ would have done the same thing.

The last thing I thought about was Jesus’s apostles. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen asleep while praying. Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray. I think that they were trying to follow His counsel and were praying, but couldn’t keep their eyes open. As Jesus said, “The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” His disciples wanted to be diligent, but they had taken in so much that day and in the previous weeks that they fell asleep.

So… here’s the final product. I hope that it makes you think about the Atonement as much as it has made me think about it.

Christ in the Garden

Seeing my Weaknesses

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

God has been really good at showing me my weaknesses throughout my life. And I guess it’s a good thing because I’d probably be really arrogant if He didn’t. But sometimes it’s really hard to see your weaknesses. Well, more accurately, it’s hard to realize how much your weaknesses affect you and others around you and to see how weak you really are.

Luckily for me, that second part of the scripture has also been a strong force in my life. I wouldn’t say that all my weaknesses are strengths, but God has definitely taken my weaknesses and used them as strengths.The most obvious example is with autism. Autism is a huge weakness for me. I feel like most of my mistakes, and most of my insecurities, stem from autism. But I have also been able to use autism as a strength to help hundreds of people.

Anyway, this week my weaknesses have become very obvious. Well, to be entirely honest, the past month or two have shown me my weaknesses over and over. It almost makes me question if I need to be more humble. But I’ve also seen my weaknesses being used as strengths at the same time.

So even though it’s hard to acknowledge that I have weaknesses and that they affect most of my life, I’m glad that I have the chance to use them as strengths. I know I am a better person because of my weaknesses. I know that I wouldn’t have learned many things I know now without my weaknesses. And I know that I wouldn’t be as compassionate or understanding without my weaknesses. So I am forever grateful for my weaknesses and I pray that as I continue to come unto Christ, He will make my weak things become strong.

Service Missionary Questions

I have been thinking recently that service missionaries are the perfect people to ask certain questions- questions that other people may not be able to answer as well as we could.

So… here is my list of questions that would be perfect to ask a service missionary.

  1. How do you live a Christ centered life when you’re out in the world doing regular things and living a basically regular life?
  2. How do you keep focused on the things that matter when there are so many distractions around you?
  3. How can I improve my scripture study while not overloading my schedule with it?
  4. What kind of things are considered service and how do you find ways to serve?
  5. How can you find joy in serving while doing mundane tasks?
  6. Can I help serve more in what you are doing?
  7. Is it possible to have a job and a social life and still find time to serve others?
  8. What does it take to be a service missionary?
  9. How is a service mission different than a proselyting mission?
  10. Can you still date as a service missionary?

A Soft Answer

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
-Proverbs 15:1

I have always loved this scripture, as well as Proverbs 16:32 (which doesn’t really have much to do with this post except that it also has to do with anger).

Anyway, I had a first hand experience with the power of this scripture yesterday.

My grandma was visiting my sister at the same time that I was staying there. I had to leave around 5:30 am in order to get to work on time. However, I planned on waking up at about 5:20 am to get ready. My grandma didn’t know this… so… she woke me up at 4:40 am.

Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy about this. I had been blissfully dreaming at the time and couldn’t fall back asleep after she woke me up. So I decided to get ready and go since trying to sleep again was pointless and I was too upset to stay. I changed, packed my car, and took off.

I drove for about 7 minutes before I realized that I had forgotten my phone. I went back to get my phone and my grandma answered the door. I rushed passed her telling her that I forgot my phone. Then she asked me why I left so quickly.

I told her that I was upset because she had woken me up 40 minutes before I had planned on waking up and that I was tired but couldn’t go back to sleep. She said she was sorry and that she thought I needed to shower and that it would take me longer to get ready. Exasperated, I explained that I had showered the night before so that I could sleep in a little longer because I knew I’d be up late spending time with my sister the night before.

She gave me a hug and said sorry. And then my anger just dissipated. I just felt love for her and even though I felt tired still, I wasn’t angry anymore. When I got in my car again, I couldn’t listen to music but instead found myself singing hymns all the way to work. I can’t say I’ve ever been happier to have woken up before 5 am.