Monday, November 25, 2013
A few months ago, I was sitting in the Temple when I blessed to see in my mind's eye a block of fire. The flames weren't wild and untamed, rather they were uniform, every angle of the square block plainly visible. I could see myself walking toward the fire. I entered it, and I did not thrash -I walked boldly, slowly forward. As I did, my outer layers were burned away. I emerged from the block of fire a shining, gleaming core of refined, precious metal.
I've often thought of that experience as I've traversed these past few months. It was a direct message from God -sent before it was vitally necessary.
These past few weeks have been so hard on me. Satan is working overtime. The Lord is making His awareness of me plainly seen -He HAS to, otherwise I'd fall. I'd be crushed under the blackness of demons. But God is in my life -in the details, in the decisions, in the dark of night when I'm alone, and in the brightness of day when three children look to me for validation and love.
His message is loud and clear, "I AM HERE AND I KNOW YOU INTIMATELY."
It matches Satan's exactly.
For the past few weeks, the message coming over the Sunday pulpit has been "Hasten the Work." The Stake President is saying it, the Bishop is saying it, the Sunday School Teachers, the Relief Society teachers, and I hunker behind the piano or organ and think about what I don't have to offer.
I haven't been visiting teaching in months.
I haven't been as present for my Mom as I should be (she just had surgery on her knee).
The babysitter bathed my daughter and clipped her nails because I hadn't.
I've missed the birthdays of people I dearly care about.
I haven't sent a single package to my sister since she moved away.
The list of my failings goes on.
During these past three weeks, I have forgotten that I'm walking boldly through a block of fire. I'm not stooping or bending or looking behind me to see if someone needs a casserole... my eyes are pressed firmly forward. My spine straight, my shoulders back, my head up.
I can't help but feel that when the Lord sends his message of "Hasten" He is speaking directly to and about His people. Baptisms are important, yes! But coming fully unto Christ OURSELVES -that is hastening in it's finest form.
As I look around me, I can see many, many of the people I love dearly (but apparently forget to send cards to when they age a year) being refined with FIRE. This isn't a slow process. It is HASTENING. The Lord is hastening His work and calling on His people to draw near unto Him with full hearts and purpose written upon their souls.
Many of His precious children are afflicted, and He issues an invitation to healing -His infinite incomprehensible Atonement. The 12-step program and education on addiction have led me personally to it, line upon line. I can choose to take it or to leave it.
Taking it means fire. Taking it means tears. Taking it means burned off layers.
Taking it means LIVING.
A few months ago, a sweet brother stood at the pulpit and tied his pornography addiction into the message of his talk.
And there before me stood a MAN, a man on fire, a man shedding layers, a living breathing Adam -his progress hastening before my very eyes.
The Lord has a job for each of us to do, and He will prepare us in His precious fire, in His own precious time.
I can rest in the Lord, knowing that I am being hastened.
I have chosen to live.