Do you believe God thinks you are mentally strong, and he trusts you to make your own decisions? I believe he has more faith in us than we do in ourselves!
While reading the "Come Follow Me" lesson for this week in Ether, we learn about the Brother of Jared. The Lord asked the Brother of Jared to take the people to the promised land. God shared with him how to make the barges as unto a tight dish. And he went to work and built the barges according to the instructions of the Lord.
"And it came to pass that the Brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges accordingly as thou hast directed me. And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light..." God asked the Brother of Jared, "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?" The Brother of Jared thought about it for a while. He carved out some rocks out of the mountain that was "Clear as glass." "And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea... And it came to pass that when the Brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and the Lord to touch the stones one by one with his finger."
A few years ago, I had an experience where I was shown the story of the Brother of Jared in my life. Of course, not the real thing! I felt the promptings to create a technique, plan, course, group to help others learn and experience the light of Christ in their lives more. Maybe it was more for me. At this time, I had been studying, taking classes, learning new things. Of course, I did not feel capable of taking on a project such a this. I was on my knees pleading with Heavenly Father what he would want me to do. How can I help others to feel the spirit more? What experience can I take them through to be able to discover for themselves the love of God? Tears were falling from my face of unknown and uncertainty of the magnitude this could entail. I felt a pit in my stomach that only got worse. It would have been much easier not to address the overwhelming prompting and then act upon this journey he asked me to do. Many prayers were pleading unto him of what I should create. Finally, I stopped asking and just sat there in silence. In my mind, I saw the story of the Brother of Jared played out before me. A rock was sitting in front of me. The hand of the Lord came down out of a cloud and touched this rock. The rock began to shine with light. And then I heard the words, "Now you go and create and then come back to me and ask."
I knew I was being taught a lesson, but it was not the lesson I wanted. I wanted to ask and then have him tell me, give me direction, at least give me some insight! But he wanted me to find this on my own. So I started studying, looking at my notes, compiling all of the classes I took, read some books, watched videos, and pulled all of my resources to create a game plan. After much contemplation, I went back in prayer and asked if this was acceptable to him, and I felt the word "Yes" within my heart.
There are a few lessons I learned from this experience...
1-Heavenly Father trusts us to make decisions. We do not have to ask him about everything we do. Remember his plan? His plan is a plan of agency! If we ask, he tells, and then we do, he is taking away our agency. He believes in you.
2-It does not have to be exact or perfect to be good. He just wants us to start. I was not given the exact process. Through my continual learning, I will keep perfecting it. When Heavenly Father gives me specific guidance, I feel I need to follow with exactness. What I came up with was not perfect because it was not from him, but it was acceptable. Because of this, it permits me to keep perfecting what and how I want to make what I do better. So often, we get caught up in the perfectionism of life, and maybe we should ask if it is acceptable.
3-Heavenly Father loves his children. He has blessed you with gifts to bless others. You have been guided in your life to prepare for what is in the future. He will ask you to do things you may feel uncomfortable with. He may ask you to go against the norm. He may ask you to take upon way more than you can handle. Remember you have been prepared.
But the one thing I know for sure is that he will never leave you alone. He will always give you the guidance you need. So ask yourself, "What are the rocks he is placing before me, and what should I do with them?"