In my last blog post I used a scripture from the book of Luke when the Savior was praying the Garden of Gethsemane. As he prayed he asked saying, ‘remove this cup from me: nevertheless my will, but thine, be done’. Immediately following that scripture is of my favorites of the New Testament. It reads simply, ‘there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.’
I have always held those two scriptures close to my heart because of the profound lessons that they teach. With that said, I have come to appreciate them even more this week as I have pondered about how they apply to miracles.
When we speak of the miracles surrounding the Life and Atonement of the Savior we focus on the fact that we can receive forgiveness for our sins, hope for a reunion with those that we hold so dear in this life, and eventually partake in the resurrection. I think one that is often over-looked is illustrated in the scripture listed above.
Miracles are defined in two ways:
1. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.
2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.
It’s only natural in times of sickness and suffering that we pray for our loved ones to be healed. But, we should not limit our definition of miracles to be confined to those times when our requests are granted.
The thought that has been on my mind this week is this: sometimes the miracle is not to be healed, the real miracle is to be strengthened through those trying times.
Earlier this week I attended the funeral of a man that I consider to be among the best of friends. I was at the hospital shortly before he passed away. As I was leaving his children showed up to be with him. They each had a chance to tell him that they loved him, that they knew he loved them, and that they would be okay.
While he was not able to be healed from such an aggressive cancer he was blessed with the miracle of having his own angels, in the form of family members and close friends, with him as he experienced what must have been one of his darkest hours. The beauty of the miracle does not stop there…just as they were there for him, certainly he will be there for them when they need him most. They will be reminded of lessons taught and counsel given that will stick with them throughout their lives.
We have the opportunity to be miracles in the lives of those around us. As we seek to help those in need we become the angels they need us to be.
Elder Henry B. Eyring made these two promises to those who would choose to serve the Lord by helping those around them:
“Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart. Your circumstances may not be improved in all the ways which you desire. But you will have been given new strength to carry your burdens and new confidence that when your burdens become too heavy, the Lord, whom you have served, will carry what you cannot. He knows how. He prepared long ago. He suffered your infirmities and your sorrows when He was in the flesh so that He would know how to succor you.
The other promise I make to you is that by choosing to serve Him this day, you will feel His love and grow to love Him more.”
I will end with these words from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
“Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are close, perhaps even closest through the Holy Ghost when we are experiencing difficult trials…bad days come to end, faith always triumphs, and heavenly promises are always kept.”