Yesterday I had the kind of day where stress coiled my right shoulder and neck into a tight, angry thing. I couldn’t sleep well. I was tired and burdened. It was just a lot to internalize. I’m not being specific, but it was the kind of day that makes me say, “Oh hey, world. I really love you, but wow, you aren’t the easiest thing to navigate, are you?”
We went to In & Out for Family Night (five thumbs up) and I read 1 Nephi 16 to the guys on the way home. The thing we noticed and discussed after our latest reading of this passage was that when his family was hungry in the wilderness and Nephi’s bow was broken, Lehi doubted. The prophet Lehi doubted. He did not know if he believed that God would deliver them. He began to wonder if he had made the right choice in listening to God and taking his family into the wilderness.
I think this chapter includes Lehi’s wavering faith because we have all been there or will someday be. We can be obedient and faithful and try and try and try, faithfully maintaining hope. And at times, we may look around and wonder what is happening. What are we even doing? Is it ever going to get better?
I’m not in that place right now. But it’s easy to find oneself there, which I think is something that God allows to happen to us so we can question and wallow and decide for ourselves what we actually believe.
Anyway, back to the things that were weighing me down yesterday. They are things that are out of my control. They are worrisome things. But worrying about them doesn’t achieve anything. I believe in allowing myself to feel all the feelings I am feeling, letting them pass over and through me, without judgment. I know I will emerge on the other side and that there is no sense in carrying all those emotions with me. I will undoubtedly move on to other emotions. It’s a progression.
It was another one of those days where I was Lehi. And Nephi. With a little infusion of Laman & Lemuel. I believed in God and I believed God. Yet, the details of my family’s life were foggy and the weight of it was heavy. Heaviness can make you doubt, possibly because the weariness overtakes you and clouds your perspective.
But I found myself saying to the boys in the car while they drank their shakes, “When Lehi asked God to forgive him and to help them, God showed him exactly where to go to find food so they could eat.”
Because he did. They approached him sincerely and he provided what they needed.
My life has shown me that he will and he does.
But we will still have the days and the years and the harrowing experiences which challenge us and make us wonder when things will change and how it will be possible. My life has been a study in seeing that we need to experience the hunger and the fear, so we will turn to God and he can show us where to find exactly what we need.