15 December 2010

For I am persuaded

As you may recall, I have been reminiscing a great deal about my experiences from two years ago, specifically those during my time in the Galilee. This has happened on multiple occasions over the two years since I've returned, but I was surprised at the frequency and intensity of my memories over the course of the last weeks in November. They would wash over me unexpectedly, but with such force that I sometimes couldn't breathe for the vividness and realness---as though I were still there, or there again watching the transformation I went through as I sat in Capernaum and then by the lake.

A week ago I received some unexpected news that hurt me. There is never a convenient time for bad news, but this timing seemed especially inconvenient with the ending of classes and the onset of final exams and that huge project I complained about repeatedly. As I struggled through my schoolwork and other responsibilities that week I was able to have a few really good conversations with a few really good friends. They made comments that I never would have thought of on my own that helped me reconsider the way this news affected me. I was able to identify some of the problems I had anyway, and in doing so I had a strong realization:

The way I felt last week was in direct opposition to what I learned during my time in the Galilee. It hurt, and it was hard. But my loving, all-knowing Heavenly Father knew that it would be hard and that I would be hurting, and being a loving Heavenly Father he didn't want to leave me unprepared. My memories of the Galilee might have seemed unexpected at the time, but they were not unintentional. What I learned about myself and my Savior and my relationship with him was special, and it changed the way I view my life. Thinking about those experiences every day for the two weeks preceding this particular news was Heavenly Father's way of saying to me, Hey I know you're upset about this and that's to be expected, but you are much stronger than that. You already learned this once, you don't have to learn it all over again. You just have to remember.

He knows who we are and what we deal with on a daily basis. But more than that, he cares. And knowing that he cares gives me more comfort than any rationalization or logical response to my emotional state ever could. I can do hard things. And I know everything will be okay.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are all killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

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