Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well, What Do You Know?

There are some days that what you know is more important than what you think. Occasionally, as much as you hate to, you admit to yourself that you can’t do everything you would like. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that your wife is right. Today is one of those times. My wife truly is a blessing. She has a knack for being right.

I have had a number of ideas swirling around in my head today, some of which I thought were really close to sharing. Unfortunately, I am having a difficult time extracting those thoughts to put in my own personal pensieve to look at. (Pardon the Harry Potter reference for those of you who may not have read the writing of J. K. Rowling, but it is a perfect analogy for what I am feeling.) Some thoughts need a little more time and energy to simmer before they can make it to print. I think that is where I am at the moment.

Liz and I had a wonderful experience today. We had three different speaking appointments where we were able to share some thoughts that were close to the heart; each was slightly different, but all were very rewarding. We have been with people we love very much, and that was a great blessing. As much as I like sharing ideas in print, I wouldn’t trade our experience today for the stamina to write a better blog post tonight. Instead, I’ll admit to myself that some thoughts will have to wait for another time. This time, what I have to share is simply what I know.

Father in heaven hears and answers prayers. Sometimes it happens by the way I feel when I ask Him a question and immediately after I have a thought or an impression come to my mind, accompanied by a peaceful and calm assurance that the impression is true. It is the feeling of the Holy Spirit. It sounds so simple, but it is true. It is also very comforting to know that it is possible for Father to speak to us. Today, Father answered three prayers for me this way. It is always beautiful, no matter how simple the question or the answer.

Sometimes Father answers my prayers through unique opportunities to do something for a friend, or a family that I home teach. That happened to me today. I have a friend that I have often asked if there was something I could do for him. Usually there isn’t. Today, however, there was. It was a small request, but I was grateful for the opportunity to finally do something for my friend. The short-notice request was an answer to prayer.

I have noticed that sometimes Father answers my prayers by a friend who calls late at night just to talk, or a friend that makes a special effort to see me during the day. Those are the times that I stop and recognize that Father is watching and allows good things to happen when I need them most. Both happened to me today at just the right times, and I am very grateful.

Sometimes I need help managing a difficult schedule while trying to accomplish everything I think I need to get to. I offer a simple prayer for some assistance to see a better way so I can focus on the things that are most important. I hope to make a difference to someone else – to share the feeling of the Comforter. I ask for help to accomplish everything I want to do, including the blog post that isn’t quite what I expect, and then I stop. I stop to count my blessings, recognizing that there are three more requests that Father has answered today. If my tally is correct, that brings my total to at least nine, just for today. There are probably more if I really thought about it. Sometimes it is good to stop and count. Today was definitely one of those days.

I can easily say that Father hears and answers prayers. I also know that He cannot lie when he says that He is not a respector of persons, but will answer anyone who asks in faith. If there are times when I feel that He is not listening or is not answering, perhaps I should think again and focus on what I know to be true. It may be that I didn’t take the time to count. Maybe it is just me who wasn’t listening because I didn’t hear the answer I expected. Sometimes He does pause a bit before answering, simply because the pause is part of His answer. Recognizing that, and appreciating it, can be a beautiful experience as well.

Either way, this much I know, that God lives. He is our Father. He wants us to check in from time to time, and usually that means multiple times a day. Father wants us to depend on Him, to trust Him, and counsel with Him. At the end of the day, when we offer our last prayer, He knows we will be closer to Him if we do. We will be more like Him when we demonstrate our faith. And each time we make the effort to talk to him, we are that much closer to getting back home.

This much I know. It is true.

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