Life is changing rapidly. I think it’s changing for the better.
But I can probably no longer claim it’s turing on a dime. It’s turning quickly, but I am more like a super-tanker than a volleyball player pivoting on a court.
Change takes time. Although some decisions need to be made quickly, lasting change cannot come overnight.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell provides a simple explanation why: “Twigs are bent, not snapped, into place.”1
Thus God takes time in effecting change in his children’s lives.
I’ve railed against God many times during this process. Mine, however, is only the sound of straining engines in a large ship (those who have cruised understand this sound; you likely woke to it on 1/3 or more of all your mornings onboard). It is the sound of protest, but the sound of acceptance of the Captain’s will.
A few things became clear during last week’s General Conference:
- The path I was on prior to teaching high school was good, but not good enough
- The choices I was making would not as immediately lead me back to God’s presence: I would have had a longer period of difficulty and struggle than I have currently been through
- God loves me, even though He might have instigated the things that I considered painful in the last 18 months
This fits well with the instruction from Elder Maxwell:
Without patient and meek endurance we will learn less, see less, feel less, and hear less. We who are egocentric and impatient shut down so much of our receiving capacity.2
I may have been accused of egocentricity on more than one occasion and probably rightfully so.
I can certainly self-identify much time over the last 18 months where I was so pained that all I could focus on was myself. These were the darkest times. I still don’t know whether egocentricity was a cause or a result of these experiences.
Regardless of the chicken or egg coming first, egocentricity kept me from receiving answers to the question that was ever-present on my mind: why?
I could not begin to understand or learn from my lessons until I became more patient. And only after I began to accept the possibility of no release from the difficulty did the chances to learn and understand really begin.
Deliverance will come. Many, many nights may be spent drowning in tears of despair, but deliverance will come. It will not be how you expect it, and it will not be in the time you expect. But at some point as you scratch, claw, fight, and attempt to pull yourself out, the hand of the Master will reach down and provide exactly the strength you need to keep climbing.
That is Divine Deliverance. It comes to all, and only those who have given up their egos in the process recognize His hand.
1. Maxwell, Neal A. “Endure it well.” General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. April 1990. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/04/endure-it-well?lang=eng. Visited 11 October 2015.