Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mercies of the Past

I keep hoping for some marvelous visitation of the Holy Ghost or some special experience that strikes me as a tender mercy. I keep hoping, not only so that I will have something to post on this blog, but also so that I will stop feeling so emotionally sterile.

This past month has been a spiritual drought. I feel like I'm living on auto-pilot, still doing--gotta keep doing!--but not feeling anything. I am tired and weary, without the energy to exert myself in prayer and study. So I speak and I read but I feel a bewildering gap between myself and the Savior.

I know that the windows of heaven are still open and still pouring out blessings on me, but my eyes are drooping and I often miss them. It startles me to have friends and family point out great blessings in my life, tender mercies of great value that I have not noticed. I have been grateful for their comments, which spark my gratitude. Yet I do not feel that joy and awe that I usually associate with it.

It's not that I have never felt this distance before. But I have never felt it when I was still trying to strengthen my testimony, to do what is right. I have never felt more keenly my separation from God, this ever-present trial of mortality. And it has never seemed such a struggle to maintain my faith.

When it has seemed too much to bear and doubt has threatened to overtake my faith, I have been sustained by remembering God's tender mercies in the past.

I've had many opportunities to be grateful for that reserve these past few weeks. Although I know that great faith has a short shelf life and that I must regain my spiritual footing soon, still I have felt a small measure of renewal by tapping into my memories of faith. When I have taken the time to review God's constancy, I have not felt a sudden burst of enlightenment but I have been granted the grim determination to continue.

In looking back on the experiences recorded in this blog and in my journal, I have remembered, as though from a dream, "in whom I have trusted." Like Nephi, "my God hath been my support; he hath lead me through mine afflictions ... he hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh". Because of this, I cannot allow my heart to weep or my strength to slacken. (2 Nephi 4)

I must instead trust that God is with me, as He always has been.