July 18, 2011

Miracles.

One night last fall, at the beginning of an employment search in a not too promising job market, I was lying in bed halfway asleep and had this image/feeling pop into my mind that I am inadequate to express, but I hope to try…

I was sitting on a hill, overlooking the desert, and within the image I felt that I had the power to set my will on actually shifting the scene in front of me—moving the desert with my will. So I did. With a kind of unusual power I found inside, I moved, with my will, the landscape that lay before me. I was just sitting there and everything shifted. When I woke up I felt in the deepest parts of my soul that I had the ability, with faith and the power of my will, to actually shift the universe to work on my behalf. It is an image and a feeling I will never forget.

After this experience I set my intention on getting a job. I knew St. George was where I should be geographically and that I would be here indefinitely…so I knew that employment had to come. It was the right thing for me to set my will on (unlike 9 months previous when I was laid off and felt prompted to live on savings and finish a thesis). The point is that the timing was right for me to be very intent about this.

What followed was a lesson in obedience and its connection to faith. I somehow understood that I should obey even the smallest promptings in order to have the faith necessary to bring down the blessing I was pursuing (the blessing I had my will on). Some of the promptings were pretty counterintuitive, but I knew I had to obey. For example, I felt prompted to turn down money for some small work I was doing. I also felt prompted to apply for jobs and go to interviews that were totally out of my comfort zone or qualifications. These are small things, but with every act of obedience I could actually feel my power increase. I could almost physically feel that I was drawing employment to me. And even though it was nearly five months before I found a job, within that time I learned to see purpose in my every day situation. It was not just a waiting period. It was kind of a weird combination of being totally intent on a future goal, but recognizing that I needed to live in the present and see that every day had purpose in getting me there. It really made the time more meaningful. Then when I did get a job (which has been perfect for me), I felt that I had some part to play in what seemed like a miracle.

I share these thoughts because that experience has become a bit of a case study for me. I don’t know exactly how miracles work, but I think I’m slowly uncovering a few steps that are necessary. So far, I think it includes a combination of these things: setting your will on something when the timing is right (only you and God can know when that is), going out of your way to be obedient to the promptings that follow, recognizing that some of those promptings may be unusual and uncomfortable but there’s something vital about breaking free of our regular patterns, having hope in the every day and seeing each step as purposeful and miraculous in its own way, and then being aware of your increased faith and combining that increase with your will to receive even further promptings.  

Does this ring true at all? I love what one of my favorite authors, M. Catherine Thomas said, “When a person makes a covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ to obey his commandments and to strive for true and honest discipleship, a whole set of transcendent laws comes into play for that person…Heavenly Father’s laws are very powerful and are a great gift to us, because when we take care to obey them, these divine laws are activated to preserve us and prosper us.” (Selected Writings of M. Catherine Thomas, p. 14)

Obedience rules, people. Both literally and colloquially.

For sure there are times when we may think, "I've been obedient my whole life, so why isn't this blessing coming to pass?" I think there are two things to consider here. First, the timing is not right (that's between you and God, remember? I think He graciously gives us the patience to bear that burden better), and second, we're not seeing the miracles in each day. Because they are there and they helping us grow in every necessary way to be prepared for the desired blessing when it does come.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

3 comments:

  1. That was beautiful. And I agree wholeheartedly. I know this: I will always live worthy to have the Spirit of God helping me along this journey of life, and the more we follow spiritual promptings, the easier it becomes to recognize them and continue following them.
    I also feel like sometimes you can be doing all the right things but you're not necessarily feeling spiritually guided. Then there are other times (and they're the bestest!) when it's so obvious that you're just flowing down the river that God built just for you :-)

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  2. Yes! And we can't let ourselves just be flopped around and beaten up by our struggles! We can just stop and ask God for help, even in a storm.

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  3. H. Thanks for the beautiful post. I needed to read it. You are the laciest.

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