Thursday, January 1, 2009
The Lord has given us a sure promise that he will change us if we turn ourselves over to him, but he has not said exactly how fast the promised change will come. One of the most difficult items in my addiction recovery is having the patience to let the Lord work on his timetable, not mine. Often when I am feeling like I am turning myself over to him and exercising faith, I still have struggles that I wish he would simply take away.
I imagine this is true of all gospel change we desire to make. The Lord's promise is sure, he will change us, he will give us the desired change of heart. For some it will be like Alma the Younger with an instantaneous change of heart which never wavers. But for most of us it is a much longer process.
Doctrine and Covenants 98:2-3 is instructive for me when I start to grow impatient with the time it takes for my heart to be changed. We are instructed that "Waiting patiently on the Lord" is essential because "your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord" and "The Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted".
As a recovering addict I have a sure and firm promise that the Lord will change me and bless me with recovery if I will turn my life and will over to him. What I do not have, is a timetable that says "If you follow the 12 steps for 6 months, you will be freed from addiction". The Lord asks my patience.
The conclusions of verse 3 says "all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good".
There is a reason the Lord allows change to take time and to often be difficult. He knows what we need to truly grow and develop in this life. He knows that the afflictions I struggle with will come together for my good if I will continue on with patience, hope, and faith.
I have faith in Him. I trust Him. I will continue to work on my spiritual growth, continue to turn myself over to His care with full patience for a brighter day as He changes me.