I have been wanting to share this for a long time. Mostly for myself, maybe for anyone who needs something to buoy them up - to remind all of us that things are not as chaotic and out of control as they feel.
Faith (not faith as a religion, more as...beliefs) is an interesting thing. We all have a different feeling, interpretation, and story around faith. For me, faith is the core of everything I do. When I focus on Faith in Christ I am propelled into people, places, and relationships I would not have found otherwise. I am consistently in awe after learning about those I come into contact with - where they have walked, what they have seen, and especially what they have overcome.
(As a side note, I took a test once while working at Kids on the Move in Orem, UT from the Strengths Finder book. One of the things it told me is that I am a WOO. "Woo stands for Winning Others Over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don't. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet -- lots of them." Gallup. I love meeting, connecting, sharing with people, and I believe faith strengthens my ability to do that: I know we all have worth and will become something we currently are not. I bask in the thought that we all deserve to be showered in mercy and love.
This bible story about faith has me looking at life - and faith - in a completely new light:
Jesus and some followers had come back from across the lake and a huge group of people were waiting for Him. One who immediately approached Jesus was Jairus, a ruler of a local synagog. Jairus approached Christ with "reverence due One whom he considered able to grant what he asked, and fell at the Lord's feet."
Jairus came seeking the Lord even though he knew that in leaving his daughter at home, she would pass away during his journey. He said to Christ, "My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her and she shall live."
Jesus went with the imploring father, and many followed.
On the way to Jairus' home an incident delayed their journey: the woman with the issue of blood came to Christ. After time and conversation passed, they were finally able to continue on to Jairus' daughter.
This is the part that stands out to me:
"No intimation is given that Jairus showed impatience or displeasure over the delay; he had placed trust in the Master and awaited His time and pleasure; and while Christ was engaged in the matter of the suffering woman, messengers came from the ruler's house with the saddening word that the girl was dead.
"We may infer that even these dread tidings of certainty failed to destroy the man's faith; he seems to have still looked to the Lord for help, and those who had brought the message asked, 'Why troublest thou the Master any further?'" In other words, "Time to give up, Jairus - your daughter is gone anyway."
"Jesus heard what was said, and sustained the man's sorely-taxed faith by the encouraging behest, 'Be not afraid, only believe.'"
The group finally arrived at the house and saw quite the scene. Customary mourning processes were in place, professional mourners had been hired. Loud noise and musical instruments and people opposed any opportunity for silence.
Christ commanded, "Peace, be still."
Jesus restored peace to the house. He then entered the death chamber, accompanied only the the three apostles and the parents of the girl. Taking the dead maiden by the hand he 'said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say to unto thee, arise.' To the astonishment of all but the Lord, the girl arose, left her bed, and walked."
This account is powerful to me. Things frequently seem chaotic and out of control to me: HOW?! WHAT?! WHEN?! WHERE?! WHY?!
But they are never out of control to Him.
He has walked in my shoes. He has walked my path. He retains complete loving and merciful control. These days I want to choose to patiently "[await my] time and pleasure." One day it will make sense, one day things will feel whole again.
While Jairus had legitimate reason to want to hurry things along, or get frustrated when someone else's miracle was taking time away from his own, he waited. I think I can do that, at least I want to try.
So, my questions have changed.
What do I want?
What do I need?
What do I need to sacrifice to attain it (even when it feels out of control?)
What will I learn that will make me more compassionate like Him?
I know things are really hard for a lot of people - I hope peace finds you and carries you through, and that you begin to feel confident things are not out of control.
Here are a lot of pictures from the last year that I love:
Quotes and summaries are from Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (one of my favorite books...)