This week was another wonderful week in the mission field. It was slow in concept of the progression of the work. A missionary's least favorite phrase right now is to hear, lets wait after the holidays. Well guess what? The holidays are over!
The cool spiritual experience for the week was the faith of one of our investigators. Her and her family have been taking the lessons for quite sometime. She asked us on Saturday if we could give her a blessing to stop smoking. We have not even retaught her the Word of Wisdom but she understood that the vice of smoking was stopping her spiritual progression.
It is amazing to me how the Lord inspires, chastises, edifies, and uplifts us. I have loved the hand of the Lord in my life. No matter the sin, not matter the pride, and no matter the weakness the words of Isiah continue to ring in my ears, "but his hand is stretched out still." "is" to me is the most comforting word within that short little phrase. It does not say his hand will be, or his had could be, or his hand was. The Lord makes it very clearly in many verses of Isiah that, "his hand is stretchered out still" and always will be. We just need to be agents unto ourselves, and act, not be acted upon. We need to have faith and grasp the hand that is ever waiting to pull us up out of our pit of despair. The power of the Lord's hand is incredible. We see by His hand healing can take place. As the man without sight approaches Christ in Bethsaida pleading with the Lord to heal him of his infirmity by touching him. Then Christ "took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him...and he (the blind man) was restored"(Mark 8:22-26). We see the hand of the Lord saves us when we fall. As Peter is sinking into the sea as he has tried his faith at walking on water we see the reaction of the Lord. "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him" Even when Peter was doubting and having little faith the Lord assisted him. He did not wait for the water to get to his neck or waited to see him suffer. But the moment that Peter had the faith to call for help from the Lord, immediately "his hand was stretched out". Was it not His hands that bore the weight of all our sorrows and troubles? It is by his hands that he understands. By His hand being nailed to the cross for each of us, we can receive forgiveness. It is by His hands we can be believing. And apostle of the Lord, Thomas, in the New Testament had is belief renewed by the hand of the Lord. "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:and be not faithless, but believing."(John 20:27) The Nephites as well came to know the Lord by His hands. "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world." (3 Ne. 11:14) We may never have the opportunity to physically touch the hands of Christ till the next life. But I know that we can spiritually feel and know of the hands of the Messiah through His Atonement. By humility we may know like the blind man that the hands of the God of Israel can heal us. Just like Peter if we have the faith to ask, we can know the hands of Shepherd can and will lift us out of despair. Just like Thomas and the Nephites we may know by applying the Atonement of Christ into our lives the reality and divinity of the hands of the Messiah in our salvation.