I’ve recently been reading Kevin Hinckley’s new book, Promptings or Me? Recognizing the Spirit’s Voice. The author encourages the reader to prepare for effective prayer by reminding oneself, what I know for sure. He supplies several things we know (or should know) for sure…number 1 is that God loves us and wants our happiness.
This is not a new concept. I recently finished a couple-year stint working with the Young Women – with them we repeat every Sunday, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us…” Yet, as I am honest with myself, I realize that I am very quick to distrust this truth. It’s been one of the challenges of my life to hold consistently to the reality that God truly does love and treasure me and wants good things for my life – happiness, chief among them. I’m very quick to find myself worrying that what God really wants is to test and prove me beyond my ability to cope and thus I will fail and suffer. Again and again I’ve reminded myself of scriptures which teach a different truth. And again and again have needed to overcome my own unfortunate early programming to believe the scriptures are true.
This morning as I truly worked to “counsel with the Lord” about a major decision I’m facing, I found myself weighing one alternative and quickly wondering whether the choice of that alternative might be pressing upon me because God has in mind some imminent “test” for me. As quickly as the thought formulated, I felt an immediate awareness that “My thoughts are not your thoughts…” I realized – and felt confirmed – that what God desires for me in the aftermath of the present decision-making is not further testing, but rather genuine peace, peace, peace. I felt an overwhelming warmth and the communication that my sacrifices over time have been accepted and that His deepest desire for me at this time is for me to recognize when enough is enough. I felt His love literally wash over me and fill me to the brim. I felt the clarity that this love is what he feels for all his children – and what he desires us to feel and experience from him.
“I do not know the meaning of all things,” says Nephi, “but I know that God loveth his children.” It is Truth. Capital T. God loves his children. I am his child. Wherever I wander, however difficult it is, at times, for me to believe and accept, God loves me. God desires my eternal happiness. And that happiness grows in small and simple ways not always connected to big tests and proving times. This morning, in prayer, I felt peace…and confidence…that God knows me, hears me and just simply loves me. Today is a very good day.