March 30, 2017

adventures in bible reading: bind my broken heart

ACTION ITEM for last week: Prepare to listen to the words of the Prophet by pondering questions that I have and by studying previous General Conference talks.

CONFERENCE IS THIS WEEKEND! It's almost like a Mormon TEDTalk experience ... except three thousand times cooler. I have been preparing myself to listen to the words of the living Prophet and it has PUMPED ME UP. Sure, I have a paper due on Saturday. Sure, I could use the weekend to climb mountains. Even with all of the fun options that studying in Provo has to offer, there is nothing else I would rather do than receive instruction from Heavenly Father!

On a little bit of a different note, I have been LOVING the opportunity to study the Bible more in depth and to apply it to my life. The Old Testament still is a little intimidating, but doing these challenges every week has helped me to understand that ALL scripture is INSPIRED and that Heavenly Father has specific messages for me. If I am willing to look, He has hidden little golden nuggets of inspiration waiting to be found.

A couple of weeks ago, on top of the other challenge that I was in the process of completing, I started to pray for humility. Because I associate humility with people like Job (who suffered quite a bit), the thought of praying for those types of experiences gave me anxiety. However, these past couple of weeks haven't been awful. In fact, I felt that praying for humility was helping me to focus better in every aspect of my life.

Until this past week.

I don't know why, but I was not feeling incredibly motivated. I woke up in the morning, I went to school, I went to work, I studied, I went to bed ... repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I felt a lack of power and divine help. I guess that's how the middle of the semester is for most people, but it felt foreign to me after so many weeks of incredible, spiritually-uplifting experiences.

On Tuesday, I went to class in a similar funk. I was prepared to drudge through the day, to endure. In my Old Testament class, however, I was able to feel lifted from the funk by a scripture from Ezekiel.

FROM EZEKIEL? I have never taken the time to study this book because parts of it are REALLY difficult to understand. In fact, even after studying it for a whole week, parts of Ezekiel are still really difficult. Despite that, I was able to find a truth hidden within all of that craziness.

Ezekiel 34 talks about Christ being a good shepherd. I LOVE this metaphor for multiple reasons. It shows the care and the work that Christ has taken upon himself for MY WELFARE. 

Verse 16 of this chapter beautifully demonstrates that characteristic: "I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up the that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick."

I have seen that in my life over and over again. On days when I feel like I can't do anything more than my little routine, Christ seeks me out and strengthens me. When I have had a broken heart, either from breaking up with a boyfriend or from sin or loneliness, Christ has always been willing to bind me up and help me to start again.

Remembering that truth gave me strength to keep enduring throughout the week. I had a mini-action item after that class of involving the Lord in my struggle to be motivated ... Although this action item seems kind of ambiguous and immeasurable, I have found that as I have prayed for strength and endurance, Christ has stepped in an has strengthened me. I love Him!

He'll do it for you, too. Christ is the good shepherd that Ezekiel was talking about, He is WAITING and WATCHING for you to come to Him so that He can heal you of whatever wounds you may have. All that He asks of you is to come, and then He'll take care of the rest!

ACTION ITEM FOR THIS NEXT WEEK: This week, I am going to study in the scriptures about HOW I can come to Christ more in my life. This may be a stepping stone to another action item that will then involve me APPLYING what I have learned about this process to my life.

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