Last week's ACTION ITEM: Pray to have my eyes opened to the blessings that Heavenly Father has given me. Write down a way that I have seen His hand in my life every day.
Heavenly Father is amazing. That's kind of an obvious statement, but it has been reiterated over and over again as I have studied the words of the Old Testament. I love Him! This week, I was better able to appreciate His influence in my life as I took a couple of moments each night to reflect where I was able to see His hand in my day.
It was another week of insanity. I felt like I was running to every appointment, meeting, and responsibility that I had. Usually, I get stressed out of my mind when life gets crazy. Usually, I start losing a grip on everything that I have to do and I am unable to finish anything the way that I want to. Nevertheless, I felt like this past was the best week that I have had in a LONG TIME. I finished everything ON TIME and was able to serve other on top of it! That's the power of Heavenly Father, y'all. (I don't have a southern accent, but I felt a nod to my semi-southern roots would be appropriate there).
This begs the question: Why don't I live that way every day of my life?
I know it's possible! God wants to give us an abundant life, and He will do it if we acknowledge His hand in all things!
The Israelites were a people that were very slow to remember that. This week, I've been studying Jeremiah. Before this week, I knew very little about this major prophet of the Bible. I'm ashamed to admit that I knew the song, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog ... (duh nuh nuh)" and that was about the extent of my knowledge of the words of Jeremiah. My love for this man has grown exponentially as I have learned about his life and the things that he taught.
It turns out: Jeremiah was NOT a bullfrog. He was a prophet right before the people of Babylon took over the city of Jerusalem. The people were incredibly wicked, and they refused to believe that the Lord would punish them for their wickedness. When the Babylonians started to attack them, these people were TERRIFIED ... but their fear led them to rely on false idols and other nations instead of relying on the Lord.
Jeremiah was called during this time to be a prophet (like Elijah from last week's post) to this people. Although he spoke the words of the Lord, he was incredibly unpopular with the people. He preached that Jerusalem would be destroyed and that the people would be scattered for their wickedness ... and the people mocked him and threw him in jail.
God supported him during his trials, but even so, life wasn't a walk in the park for Jeremiah. At one point, Jeremiah determined that things were TOO HARD and that there was no way that he would continue to prophesy to the people. But then he repents because he said, "his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones" (Jeremiah 20:9). God's word was IN HIM! He was a prophet, called of God to guide and direct the people, and he was determined to fulfill that calling.
I am so happy to testify to you that God has once again called a prophet on the earth today. Just like Elijah and Jeremiah, this man receives the word of the Lord to help guide and direct us. In a world of so much chaos and confusion, like the times of Jerusalem's Babylonian captivity, it gives me so much comfort to know that God will not leave us hanging!
Starting this weekend, the WHOLE WORLD will get the opportunity to hear from a living prophet of God (isn't that the coolest thing??). He, along with other leaders of the Church, will give guidance and counsel that applies to everyone in the whole world, regardless of circumstances.
I invite you to hear the words of God through these inspired people. The fact that God continues to speak to His children is a precious truth that I have come to understand through a lot of study and prayer. If you want to know more about WHY I believe that a Prophet really does speak to us today, feel free to contact me! It's my favorite thing in the world, and I would love to share what I know!
ACTION ITEM for this next week: Prepare to listen to the words of the Prophet by pondering questions that I have and by studying previous General Conference talks.