Monday, February 3, 2014

Mormon Monday: Faith

Friday turned out to be a very rough day for me. We had to get a safety inspection and an emissions inspection done on our car.

I went in with faith, thinking that the Lord would take care of it, and hopefully we would pass. We dropped the car off, and while we waited for them to check it, Grig, Kevin, and I went on a walk. We stopped at Al's Sporting Goods and browsed around looking at knives, guns, and mounted animals. It was quite fun. I wasn't worried about the car at all.

However, as we finished, Grig received a call on his phone. It was from the car place. They told us that our car had failed on both its emissions and safety inspection!

I was surprised, but then I assumed that it was just going to be something small, so I was determined to not worry about it (this is an optimistic quality that I have, that sometimes makes me very disappointed.)

We walked back, and they informed us that our check engine light is on (which it hasn't been because it turns out our check engine light is broken too) and they are reading two different codes that we need to get checked out before it can pass the emissions test. They also informed us that our brakes needed to be replaced as well as our front tires.

All-in-all, we are looking at an estimated around $500-700 worth of repairs. That was very discouraging to me.

We have our tax refund coming, with which we will be able to make the needed repairs and finish this process of getting our car registered in this state, but I really wanted to use that money to pay off the majority of our school debt. When I found out that we were probably going to have to use around a thousand of it to fix things on our car that I didn't really feel like they needed to be fixed, I was pretty distraught.

I didn't know why Heavenly Father had allowed this to occur. Our brakes seem fine to me. They aren't squeaking or stalling. Our front tires, though they may be losing their tread have handled the ice quite decently. I was really looking forward to having less debt, and sometimes when I make a plan that I'm really excited about, it's hard for me to change that plan.

However, that is where faith truly comes in. We hope for the best, but when things don't work out the way we plan, we don't lose faith. Instead, we should try to see what God is trying to teach us, or what we can learn from this new experience.

As my wonderful husband Grig pointed out, at least we have the tax return coming so we CAN pay for these repairs. Most likely, we would have to make these repairs anyway, but if this wasn't occurring right now, we would have to pull the money out of somewhere else.

He's absolutely right. That is a blessing and I just didn't recognize it at first. I was pretty set on what I wanted and the blessings that I thought Heavenly Father was giving us, that I didn't recognize another wonderful blessing that we were receiving.

In the LDS Bible Dictionary, it states:
Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed Himself and His perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in Him without reservation.

I do have faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that He is going to take care of us, and I feel ashamed that I doubted, was somewhat angry, and confused for a little while. Our family has been guided and taken care of time and time again, and I know the Lord will continue to do so.

I just really hate making car repairs. I fell like they are way over-priced and they make you fix things that aren't really broken.

Regardless, that is what the laws in our area have asked us to do, and we believe in obeying and honoring the laws. We'll do our best to see them through.

We did find out yesterday that there is a $200 emission repair cap. That was a blessing to find out, so the price of repairs may actually be less than we thought it was going to be.

As we have faith, we put our own worries and fears aside and trust that the Lord won't lead us astray. As we do our best, He will take care of us.

It isn't blind faith. I know that these things are true because I have seen the Lord's hand in my life before, and I have felt His presence and His love. I'm not acting because I'm hoping things will work out. I'm acting because I KNOW things will work out. It's just scary sometimes to walk with only part of the path illuminated.

That's what faith is. It's having absolute confidence that our Heavenly Father is perfect and knows where the path will lead, even if we don't. It's the faith of a blind man in his guide dog or a child in his parent. We trust that they will not lead us astray, and unlike the dog and the parents, God doesn't and can't make mistakes.

That's a very comforting thing when you're trying to turn your life over to someone else.

The Bible Dictionary goes on to state that:
Although faith is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a great tree. The effects of true faith in Jesus Christ include (1) an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to the Lord (see Heb. 11:4); (2) a reception of the blessings of the Lord that are available to man in this life; and (3) an assurance of personal salvation in the world to come. These things involve individual and personal testimony, guidance, revelation, and spiritual knowledge. Where there is true faith there are miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God that He gives to His saints. Jesus pointed out some obstacles to faith in John 5:44 and 12:39–42 (see also James 1:6–8).

Faith doesn't just appear. As we grow and work through trials (like Friday), we move forward. As we do so, we see the fruit of our faith and then we can continue to trust and have more faith. There are obstacles to faith, but as we see the Lord's hand in our lives, we learn to work past those obstacles and to trust in Him.

If things are hard right now, have faith. The Lord wants you to have peace and happiness in your life. He doesn't want to make us miserable, he wants us to be happy. Sometimes happiness is a journey, but true happiness takes work and effort. It is not an instant gratification type-of-thing. God knows not only what will bring us joy, but also the only path that will take us there.

Follow His path and have faith in Him. I'm trying to do the same, and as I try, I gradually am succeeding.

Even when I have hard days like Friday.

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