Remember our family, T-R...? We found out this week that the drunk men not only knocked down their house, but later went back and burned everything inside. They have almost nothing, but they are choosing to not let it stop them. They are still working with faith for their marriage and baptism.
We are also teaching a less-active sister who suffers from depression. It came on when she, as a young mother of three children, lost her husband and was thrown out of the house by his family. She later remarried, but to a man who spent much of their relationship abusing her verbally and sometimes physically. These choices saddened us, yet there is a very special spirit when we are able to teach this sister about the gospel.
Another investigator chose to start smoking at age 8 to de-stress while his parents were fighting. He has now chosen to learn about the Church of Jesus Christ because he wants to stop smoking and drinking coffee. He wants to change his life.
These experiences are all rather grim and add to the many hardships people face around the world. One may wonder when faced with news of genocides, wars, substance abuse, child abuse, crime, and every other ill in the world, where is God in all of this?
He is in our agency.
There was a war in heaven fought so that we could have the ability to choose for ourselves. God is so loyal to this gift of agency that He allows His children to suffer because of the badly used agency of others. God is so loyal to agency that He allowed His Beloved Son, He who was without sin, to suffer, bleed, and die.
Amidst all the trial and tribulation we face in this world we can find hope in the sacrifice of His Beloved Son. He suffered for our sins and also suffered our pain caused by the sins of others. He was forsaken that He might know how we feel. He died that we might live again.
From the hymn, O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown, it testifies;
No creature is so lowly,
No sinner so depraved,
But feels thy presence holy
And thru thy love is saved.
Tho craven friends betray thee,
They feel thy love's embrace;
The very foes who slay thee
Have access to thy grace.
While we take comfort in the promise of forgiveness and grace, I pray that each of us will try to use our agency each day conscientiously, for the better. Choices have immense impact. The choice to join the church. The choice to leave the church. The choice to serve a mission. The choice to stay on a mission. The choice to smile and speak a kind word. The choice to be angry and hurtful. The choice to fill our spirits with light. The choice to participate in harmful media. The choice to believe in Jesus Christ. The choice to reject His sacrifice.
We can all make good choices!
|Getting my nails painted by T...|