This week quite a few things have stuck out to me as I have read and pondered the messages found in Matthew and Luke. I love that this weeks lesson points out that “From a mortal perspective, it was impossible. A virgin could not conceive. Nor could a barren woman who was well past child-bearing years. But God had a plan for the birth of His Son and of John the Baptist, so both Mary and Elisabeth, against all earthly odds, became mothers.” We all need miracles and tender mercies of the Lord in our lives and they all look different. Elder David A Bednar has said
“I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15).
We learn in Luke 1:37 the beautiful promise that “With God nothing shall be impossible” and I truly have seen modern day miracles that from a mortal perspective were impossible. Some powerful principles of this that stuck out in my mind as I pondered my own life experiences were the lessons I learned when our son Chandler passed away. We learned at 20 weeks that Chandler had a condition called potters syndrome where his kidneys had not developed and his body could not sustain life outside the womb. I remember sitting in that ultrasound and feeling the prompting that I knew I would witness miracles through this experience but that the miracle may not be a healthy baby. So what would a miracle look like in this experience if it wasn’t a healthy baby? There were numerous experiences that I can recall but the greatest miracle for me was peace. The peace that surpasses all understanding as the scriptures promises. My modern day miracle was the sweet peace of knowing that families are eternal and that the Lord had a divine plan for me and was so aware of me and my circumstances I truly felt carried. As he promises the Lord has not forgotten you, His promises are sure.
Jeffrey R Holland has said “Some blessings come soon, some come late and some don’t come from heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come”
It asks if we find ourselves waiting for a blessing and what do we feel the Lord expects from us while we wait?
For me these things have blessed my life so deeply. Richard G Scott stated
“When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.”
I have felt empowered by this list of questions and the focus on the things that we have the ability to choose to act and not be acted upon by our circumstance, as we can serve, and recall our blessings as we ask for the Lords eyes to see with clear perspective.
Another perspective I have loved has been from Henry B Eyring https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/henry-b-eyring_waiting-upon-lord/
about what it means to wait upon the Lord. “If we are going to do our duty, we are going to need the powers of heaven. And if we are going to be given access to the powers of heaven, we are going to have to learn to wait upon the Lord.
The word wait in scripture language means to hope for or anticipate. Surely the great prophet Isaiah meant that, and I think he meant more, when he made us a glorious promise
If you will wait upon the Lord while you listen to this next general conference, if you will listen for his voice, you will recognize it in the words spoken by his servants. Forget about them as human personalities, and when the conference is over, I promise you that you will have a quiet assurance that those human beings are called of God and that God honors their calls.
I will make you that same promise the next time your bishop speaks to you.
You might even try it with your home teachers or your visiting teachers. While they are there, wait upon the Lord, listen and see if you can know what it is God would have you do. It may not even be in their words. It may be things that will come to you while they speak, but you will know. And you will know that it is coming to you because you are waiting upon the Lord by honoring his servants. And when you see that God can honor the callings of such ordinary people, you will find your faith increased that he may magnify what you are doing in your own service. You won’t always see the miracles that come from your work, which is probably a blessing. If you did, you would get proud. But you can often underestimate what God is doing as he honors your calling.”