I don't really have much to say tonight- but kind of felt like blogging anyway. I guess one reason is because I have just been feeling so blessed lately. I keep thinking, "Man, I am just really lucky". Sometimes, I complain about things or I let things bother and worry me more than I should, but then I remember all of the blessings that I have received lately and throughout my life and really, life is good.
Various divine observations about human nature, such as the one that follows, indicate why developing and sustaining daily faith can be such a challenge: "And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him" (Helaman 12:3).
Why is this so? Is it simply unintended forgetfulness? Or is it a failure of intellectual integrity by our refusing to review and to acknowledge past blessings? Or is it a lack of meekness which requires the repetition of such stern lessons, because we neglect the milder and gentler signs beckoning us to "remember Him"? Deliberately cultivating spiritual memories thus becomes a large part of maintaining daily faith. Counting ourblessings is one way of discounting our fears and anxieties.
He continues further (and I appreciate this, because there have definitely been times when I have asked for a particular blessing and I did not receive that blessing at that time).
Sometimes in daily life our eyes are "holden" (see Luke 24:16). Things to which we are so close and which should be obvious enough are, ironically, often unclear to us. We can't always make out what lies just two steps ahead. Instead, we are to trust the Lord and walk by faith in such circumstances, taking the next first step, until the wisdom of the Lord indicates otherwise. Later we will see how we stared directly at the obvious but still could not see it. Besides, having received so many blessings involving one divine "yes" after another, we should not be surprised if there is an occasional, divine "no," if only because of divine timing.
If everything in one's immediate context were constantly clear, God's plan would not work. Hard choices as well as passing through periodic mists of darkness are needed in order to maintain life's basic reality—that we are to overcome by faith.
And finally, to finish off, he says this:
Even so, life is full of so many wonderful and beautiful things. These we are to appreciate while we endure other things. God, who has given us so much, desires that we develop our capacity to appreciate further the beautiful scenery, the gorgeous sunsets, and a rich earth which has resources and beauties "enough and to spare" (D&C 104:17), though mortal systems may contradict and interdict that abundance. Even so, few lives, indeed, are so barren or so incessantly beset that there is not cause to appreciate and to enjoy all that is lovely and praiseworthy. Part of worshipping God is to appreciate the blessed and happy things even as we pass through the noxious and obnoxious things. True, life's recesses and reveries do not last for long, but they are there, as a foretaste. The many blessings to be counted far outnumber the trials which press upon us.
If you ever get a chance, this comes from his book, "Lord, Increase Our Faith"- Chapter 7, Faith that Takes up the Cross Daily. It's a good read and helps to put things into perspective.