A few months back, I received news that the newborn baby of a friend of mine was very ill. It seemed likely that the baby would not live and would be called home to Heaven at a very young age.
The status of this sweet baby brought hundreds of people to their knees. Family and friends pleaded with Heavenly Father in the child’s behalf; and fasted for hours upon hours that he might be made whole.
And he was! He took a drastic turn for the better, and now, all these months later, he continues to be strong and healthy.
I prayed for this child right along side with so many others. I too wanted him to stay with his Earthly family and especially hoped that they could avoid the heartache of losing their precious child.
Many times, after experiences such as these, it is said, “it is because of our faith, prayers, and fasting that this blessing was granted us.” Which is certainly true. But what of the times when equal faith and prayers are expended, and the blessing is not granted?
Recently I was skimming through the April 2011 edition of the Ensign. There was an article entitled “Faith and Infertility”. At first glance, I considered skipping the article because I didn’t think it would apply to me. I was reminded, however, of several people who I know and love who are currently longing for children, but are unable to have them, and I realized it was important for me to read the article.
Certainly, while I was reading, my sympathy was strengthened for those who are yearning to have children. I wasn’t expecting, however, for the message to reach me on such a personal level. One woman shared the confusion and hurt she felt when she heard new mothers say, “God trusted me with this child”. She acknowledged that it was a fair statement, but she couldn’t help but think “God doesn’t trust me.”
Upon reading this, I remembered all the times when someone had said that it was faith and prayers that made their dying child healthy and whole, and I had wondered why my faith and prayers hadn’t made my dying child healthy and whole.
The article goes on to say, “sometimes faith means trusting in and listening to the Lord even when we are not cured. What we want won’t always match what He has planned for us…
…When someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed, their faith is being strengthened. But for those who are not healed, but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected. The first is a faith-promoting experience. The second is faith-perfecting.”
We will all have experiences in our life where what we want most, however righteous the desire, will not be granted. And likewise, we will all have to standby and watch someone else be granted the same righteous desire we are denied: for no apparent reason. It’s not a matter of being trusted more, or being more faithful, or more loved. It’s all about being refined, perfected, and prepared for what is to come.
“Everyone has different trials, and Heavenly Father is aware of those. If we are humble enough to follow the plan He has for us, we’ll be happy…
…His gifts are the best gifts. He loves us so much. What I have planned for our life would pale in comparison to what He has given us. We need to trust and know that He will give to us immeasurably. What He has in mind for His children is better than anything we could ever design.”
What a comfort it is to know that God knows me, and knows how I need to be reshaped and refined in order to receive all His choicest blessings. I truly pray that my faith might continue to be strengthened and perfected.
And I am totally excited for the day when His plan is revealed.
I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty awe-some.
The full article, “Faith and Infertility” by Melissa Merrill, can be found: here.