Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 2: Closer to Christ

Question: Am I seeking Christ's help?

Read: Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Jacob 4:7  Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
Ether 12:27  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.

Ponder: Am I seeking the Lord's help in all I think and do?  Do I pray enough?  Do I pray with integrity?  How can He help me overcome my weaknesses?

Spend half an hour each day with the Lord, and you will spend eternity with Him
- Stephen R. Covey
Today there is a lot to think about!  Today's scripture in Proverbs is one of my favorites.  So is the one in Ether.  Those are scriptures that come to my mind often when I feel inadequate in what I am doing.  And let me tell you, I feel inadequate quite often!

Growing up I was always taught to pray.  I said my personal prayers morning and night and then we had family prayers morning and night.  I do the same with my family now.  I always knew that Heavenly Father would hear and answer my prayers.  As a missionary in Ireland, prayer was an important part of the day.  We would pray to touch people's hearts and to be led to those who were seeking Christ in their lives.  We would pray for strength and the spirit.  However, once I became a mother, prayer took on a whole new meaning for me.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's because I felt huge responsibility.  Here I was, with six children of God, responsible for their well being and their spiritual growth.  It was my job to teach them and raise them up so that they would learn what they needed to know to be good people and to return to their Father in Heaven.  Maybe it was because being a mother some how has the ability to bring all my weaknesses to the fore front for all to see.  I'm not sure why, but for the last 12, almost 13 years, my prayers have been different.

Do I pray enough?  I doubt it.  I know there are many times when I should have stopped and said a prayer in my heart to help me handle a situation differently and I didn't do it.  Is it something I am working on?  Constantly.  Do I pray with integrity?  I don't know... I try to.  I try to make sure that my prayers and intentions are honest and in line with what I know to be right.  I will be honest though.  Sometimes I have to check and recheck my intentions.  Am I praying for something because it is right and best or because it is what I want and am hoping that God will go along with it and make it be the right thing for me because I want it so badly!  Does that make sense?  Am I seeking the Lord's help to make my weaknesses become strong or am I trying to just skip the whole weakness and growing thing and go straight to the being strong part of it?

Another area that I fall short in is praying for help.  I think I can or should do it all myself.  I don't have to though!  Heavenly Father has promised us His help!  We have to do our part, but He will help us the rest of the way.  That is for all areas of life - not just spiritual things.  Maddi ran cross country this year.  She worked hard.  She ran all summer, went to every practice and ran in every meet.  She was dedicated and strong.  Towards the end of the season though she was tired.  She was a little nervous learning to run varsity - that is a completely different kind of race than JV.  She seemed to lose a little of that confidence in her ability.  Before her region meet, we talked to her about what she had done to get to this point.  We told her that she had the right to pray and ask for Heavenly Father's help.  She had done her part.  She had worked hard. He would step in and give her courage and strength to run her best.  She did and He did.  She ran an excellent race and I could see on her face that she was running with confidence again.  Did she win? No.  Did she make it to state?  No. Did she do her best?  Yes.  Was she proud of herself?  Yes.  Was I proud of her?  Of course and for more than one reason.  I was proud of her efforts during the season, but I was also proud of her faith.  She had the faith to ask for help.  She had the faith that her prayers would be answered and she had the faith to get out there and do it.  He will give us what we need.  His grace is sufficient for our needs.  He will make our weaknesses become strong.  All we need to do is pray and do our best.

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