I got some news today that, although not entirely unexpected, was still a bit of a blow. It wasn't a blow to my confidence or anything that broke my heart, but more of a tremor in my personal faith. Why would I not receive something that was promised to me by the Lord who never breaks a promise?
The hard thing for me right now is to have faith in something I'm not sure of. I'm not good at just stepping back and saying, 'Oh, well! Time to just be happy not knowing and keep living life.' I'm very much about having the perfect answer. I want ANSWERS. Without an answer I feel lost and afraid and unsure. I don't know which direction to go, which decision to make, and I worry about everything. So my knee-jerk reaction today was 'Crap. CRAP. Crap. How do I have faith in something I'm not even sure will happen? How do I move forward when I have no direction and am so unsure? I mean...the Lord wouldn't lie to me. Right? Right! But...wha...huh?'
And then I got to thinking...that's what faith IS. To believe in and hope for things that are unseen, that are for us uncertain, that we don't have answers about at this present time. Then after some more thinking...Heavenly Father isn't a yes or no man. Especially when it comes to a no answer. The Lord never really says, "NO!" It's more of a "Not yet, little one. I know your dreams, your fears, and your desires. Still, I am your Father, and I know when to let you know what is in store. Keep moving forward in faith and obedience. I will guide the way."
God doesn't force us to do anything. He also doesn't tease us with empty words and flat promises. He lets us make choices and as long as we do our best--MY best--to do as he asks me, he will bless me. He knows that the things I want are good. He also knows when it will be best for me to receive these things, and even when it is best for me to give.
Faith. Isn't it about believing?
"And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."
Doctrine and Covenants 105:19
"I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith."
1 Peter 1:7
"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
"Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope."
"Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good."
Doctrine and Covenants 63:11
"Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God; and with whom God is angry he is not well pleased; wherefore, unto such he showeth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation."
"For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens."
"For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world."
"Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith."
"Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge."