This idea I have to share is one that came upon me today with sudden force. It's something really very simple and completely obvious, but also amazing and wondrous at the same time. God loves me.
I could say God loves us, which is absolutely true. But the fact that He loves me so specifically (as He does each of you) speaks volumes as to my potential relationship with Him. My loving Father in Heaven knows my heart, my intentions, my pain, my soul. He knows and could name every tear I've cried, every person I've loved; every breath I've taken. He's seen me at my finest, at my worst, and everywhere in between. And despite everything, there is never a single moment of any day that He doesn't love me with all His heart. Why would I ever give Him anything but the same?
Like any amazing parent, He not only cares about my spiritual growth. He cares about the little things in my life; the inconsequential things that have little to no eternal perspective. But He cares about them because they matter to me. Meaning . . .
When I really start to like that guy that never calls back for a second date, He understands.
When I finally get the raise I've been working so hard for, He rejoices with me.
When I pray for the breath to stay out of the hospital and finish my education, He knows how much it means to me.
The thing is He wants to bless us. He doesn't want us to feel unnecessary pain or be lost in some abyss filled with doubts and fear. None of that comes from Him. All He asks is that we follow His teachings, listen to the Spirit. Because that is exactly what brings us those blessings. It's not like He's sitting up there demanding our full obedience or He won't be responsible for what happens to us. This is no ransom demand. Thing is; following the commandments, living the gospel standards. They are the blessings!
Living our lives free from addictions gives us the freedom of our clear minds and openness for family, healthy relationships, knowledge, and the presence of the Spirit.
Paying our tithing and fast offerings helps to build churches, temples, and to spread the gospel around the world. How could that not be a direct conduit to great blessings and happiness?
Reading our scriptures and following the leaders of the church? Well, let's put it this way. If I had to walk across a tightrope with a basin of hungry alligators beneath me (I know, slightly dramatic), I would want someone giving me directions on how to get to the other side. Where my Savior would be anxiously waiting, arms outstretched. But I can only fall into them if I make it there and take His hand. Otherwise, I'm somewhere far below; swimming with the alligators.
I know He loves every single person on this planet as individually as He loves me. And I have felt that love so strong it's unmistakable. But it's been through this past week that I've realized something else. I can feel His love through the depths of my trials. During the most difficult and most frustrating of times, He is there. And His mercies are tender. They won't necessarily save us from the trying moments of our lives, but those tender mercies remind us that we are never alone. He is there.
Trials come from our Savior to prepare us, to teach us, to better us.
Our fear, our pit of darkness that we create while in the midst of them comes from Satan.
Don't let him in, don't let him win.
Get on your knees and pray.
I need Him every hour.