Sunday, October 01, 2006

He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters

For the last couple of months, I've been going through an extreme personal trial that has sought to test me more fully than I've ever been tested before, at least in this particular area. I've had to step out on cliffs and try to swim without water wings, all the while knowing that God was there, but not really sure what His purpose was or just what I was supposed to be learning. I've always had this goofy idea that if I could just figure out what God wanted me to learn, I could learn it really fast and bring the trial to a close sooner. It just doesn't work like that.

Today's session of General Conference particularly touched me. I didn't catch the name of the speaker, but it was the talk given at 3:00. He told the story of a man who needed $195 to pay a loan on his farm, and he had no way to pay it. Even if he sold everything he had, it would not amount to $195. He didn't know what to do, until the day before Christmas, when he got a letter from a man in the town saying that he had been strongly prompted to offer $200, if it was needed. He paid the $195 on the farm, and with the remaining $5, he was able to buy boots and clothes for his children for Christmas.

God didn't just inspire the man to give $195 to pay for the farm; He threw in the extra $5 so the children could have a Merry Christmas.

How often does God do that? We ask for a blessing and we don't receive it right when we ask, but we get what we need and He throws in some extra. It's those extras that remind me all over again that He is truly our Father. He puts sprinkles on our ice cream cones and extra marshmallows in our hot chocolate. He doesn't just give us food and shelter, He gives us sunsets and rainbows. In all these little ways, He shows His love for us.

I couldn't let this day go by without expressing my gratitude for the sprinkles and for the guidance. I can't say for sure that I know how this trial will be resolved. What I can say, though, is that He will be walking me down the safest path until I get to the other side.

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