Sunday, May 17, 2015

In Our Afflictions

This sacred Sabbath day I come to this blank page with humble soul in response to a passage I read recently from The Book of Mormon.  Deep within its pages we find an account of a group of people who turned their lives to Jesus and consequently had to flee their angry, wicked king.  Upon reaching safety they set up a new city but soon thereafter are overtaken and forced into bondage by another group of people called Lamanites, who pass a law forbidding this group to pray aloud.  They continued, however, to pray in their hearts and the Lord answers them, not by immediately freeing them from bondage, but by making their burdens feel so light that they could not feel them upon their backs.  The Lord says He did this so that they might testify to all the world that God visits His people in their afflictions.  

So it is with me and I feel to bear testimony that God does in fact visit His people in their afflictions.  I have wrestled with post traumatic stress for many years, daily pleading with heaven to rescue me and subdue forever the convulsive seizures that hold me bound.  It has been a difficult road that to me has often felt like bondage and cruel servitude to the relentless taskmaster of trauma. But God has visited me.  There have been times when, though my body thrashed uncontrollably, my mind and heart felt sheltered and protected.  There have been times that God has given me strength beyond my own to pick myself up and stay the course.  I even recall a few times that I point blank knew that death yawned before me and through some miracle known only to God I have literally felt my life stretched unnaturally that I might feel and experience more pain than it would have been possible to feel except it be unto death.  That may sound torturous but through all of it, God has been at my side, crowning my head with peace and promise, and leading me every single step of the way.  Every pain He has allowed me to feel has been to give me a stronger relationship with Him and to understand in some small, pitiful measure a fraction of the agony the Savior felt.  It has forged a relationship between myself and the Lord Jesus Christ that I feel will extend throughout my life and into eternity.  Though it has been anguish fit to wrack my imagination, the Lord has repeatedly assured me and proven that someday it will be seem insignificant in the face of the glory He has the power to bestow upon me that blows any and all human imagination into oblivion.   

Later in the story, this stalwart group of Christians escapes the oppressors by direct intervention from heaven and led to a place of safety where the inhabitants love, revere and protect them.  May it be so for all of us when we bear our afflictions with an eye single to the glory of God.  Inasmuch as I would give my utmost to escape from trauma and post traumatic stress, I feel to do my part in proclaiming as far and fully as I have strength that indeed, God does visit His people in their afflictions.  He has walked the entire way through mine.  And He will help you stand tall and walk with strength through yours.  

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