“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“And the Lord is near” 2 Nephi 7 Isaiah 50

"The Lord is at hand"
My daughter keeps a blog about her families activities and lessons they share with one another. Recently she posted on the importance of faith and doubt. She commented how doubt is a part of being human. President Uchtdorf spoke on this subject last fall in General Conference and taught how we should “doubt our doubts” before we doubt the Lord.

"the Lord is nigh"
Doubts seem to come when trials darken our paths, when strength weakens or social acquaintances thin, or when clouds of gloom block our eternal perspective. But we must remember that we do have light if we will but open our eyes and cast them upward.  We can find God's light and spark our own light by learning “set our face like a flint.” (v7)(Isaiah 50:7) Isaiah’s reference means that we can be determined to see God’s love and to follow through on our commitment to God as God has followed through on his commitment to us.

Living for the Lord requires strength and determination. The views of the world infuse every aspect of our lives; they don’t have to be sought out, for they come to us in a myriad of ways. The Lord’s love, however, no matter how subtle and constant its influence may be, must be answered by a welcoming heart. For those who have sense to perceive, it grows in the trees, rides in the breeze, sings on the bird’s song and finds passage to our heart through the gift of service or the familiar echo of truth’s testament.

Isaiah spoke of the Lord’s willingness to find presence in our lives.(2Nephi 7). As I read this chapter and reread Isaiah’s words that spoke of the Messiah, I began to think of how our doubts creep into our daily lives and rob us of our access to the Lord’s redemptive power. 

"the Lord is nigh"
Isaiah conveys to us, to Israel, the power of God’s love for us. He helps us to see that when we do not feel God in our life, it is not because he is not there, for he “came,” and “there was no man,” he “called” and “there was none to answer,” (2), and if we are not redeemed it is not because he “has no power to deliver.”

The Lord’s power is omnipotent and omniscient.  As I thought about this I realized that the veil between God and man is only as thin as it needs to be. Not as thick, but as thin. God does not want to keep us apart from Him; he wants to draw us as near to him as he possibly can. By keeping the veil as thin as possible, as thin as it can be, we are able to reach for and call upon the redemptive powers of the Lord. We are able, if we believe and live a life that puts belief before doubt.

I have a dear friend who is going through some very rough times. She has a strong faith in the goodness of man and of God. But this has not availed her in the times of her trial. She is learning of God’s love for her. She is learning that God's love is there to help her discover the strength within.

When I read verse 7 I had to share it with her. I wanted her to believe that the power of God’s love lies within each of us. And that is the beauty of faith; faith builds strength, personal strength that Isaiah speaks of, the kind that helps us overcome our own trials through the redemptive power of the atonement.

When “the Lord is near” and I seek to be near him, I am justified. I am measured full and my shortcomings are forgotten. For the Lord God will help me.  He helps all who seek him, who feel his presence, who understand truth.

But, what about the doubt? What about the world that will condemn me for my faith? Well faith is an eternal gift, for the eternal soul. Those that condemn me for my eternal view and faith in an eternal God who will stand beside me, will wax old and be eaten by the moth. (v9)
Sometimes when I walk with nature I feel close to God.. I suppose it's because
I am in the midst of his creations. It's hard to feel alone when you are in awe. 

I think of doubt differently now. It’s purpose is to derail my journey of joy.  I am learning how to doubt my doubts first… before I doubt my faith in the Lord.  I want to be there when he calls, to open my heart to him when he knocks and above all to kindle the sparks of the fire of my testimony upon “my face .. that is .. like a flint.” It is my hope that when darkness comes, and it will come, that I may have the sense to remember that “the Lord is near,” and that it is I that must turn to him to spark the light that will guide me through so that I might feel and know without a doubt of the strength of his love.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails