Monday, May 8, 2017

Scars

Noticed the bandaged finger. October 2016
Eight months ago, my little boy (age 7) and his brother (age 9) were playing outside. One day they came running into the house and big brother wildly slammed the front door on little brother!

Guess what happened?! Little brothers fingertip was broken, as well as almost completely cut off. I rushed him to his usual plastic surgeon (because he's been quite accident prone! We joke about a trip a year to this plastic surgeon!)

The doctor cleaned, stitched and bound up the finger, and for nearly a month we kept returning to check the healing.  At one appointment the doctor told my seven year old son that he didn't need to wear bandages any more. But my little boy kept insisting on wearing them. And I kept providing the bandaides so he could do so.

I can't find the recent plastic surgeon pics
of my son. But this was in June,
just a few months before the finger in the door.
(Photo taken before 5 stitches).
Our new puppy bit him as they wrestled!
But one day I sat him on my lap and pulled back the bandaide to look at the healing taking place. His fingertip was scarred and deformed. I asked him why he wanted to keep it covered. With quivering voice he talked about how he didn't want people to see it because of how it looked.

Even though it wasn't a "big deal" to me, I suddenly understood his shame in having a deformed, scarred finger- with missing fingernail. I held his finger and carressed the scarred area and I said, "M..., I'm sorry you've been embarrassed by how your finger looks. But when I look at your finger all I can see is how wonderful Heavenly Father is, and how much he loves you, and each of us."












I proceeded to tell my precious son how our body is the most amazing thing on earth. I said there is no material on earth like it. When it gets cut it can heal. And broken bones can grow back together.

I again gently touched the scarred area and said "You don't need to be embarrassed because of the scars. You can always look at them and remember what God has done for you because He loves you!"

From that day forward my son no longer wore a bandaid (bandage) to hide his finger. 

Our bodies are a miraculous gift of God. We are each unique and cherished creations and miracles of our divine creator. 

While some wounds may physically or emotionally scar or cause of cause to become deformed, we can each find ultimate spiritual healing through the power and mercy of God. That is of great comfort and hope to me.

My son's small finger is just one example of the greatness of God. I hope you can look a your life and see His love for you. His love and greatness is everywhere we look--IF we have gratitude in our hearts and His vision in helping us to see beyond the mundane things of life.



How do you see the hand of God in your life?
Christine

I just discovered this song. It has a powerful message of God's love for us!

Yes! He loves of any way we are! He loves us any way we come to Him! #ChristSavedUs!
#YOUareLOVED



Sunday, May 7, 2017

What is Love

Through the ages poets and song writers have tried to define love, but among the best description (at least that I can recall at this moment;) are these:

John Keats (adapted by me:)
"(Love) A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep...

And William Wadsworth wrote:
"The Soul (of love) that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar
"
 

Even Christina Perri attempts to describe love when she sings: "I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more." But she got something right...probably without understanding it.... LOVE IS ETERNAL! 

While it seems we are just beginning our relationships of love, they began long before we came to this mortal, earthly sphere! And real bonds of friendship and love will not end here! 

Love is Endless and Eternal! 

As a side note: In place of "I have died everyday," Christina's song reads better to the truth of my soul when I replace it with "I have sacrificed everyday waiting (and preparing) for you...." (I add that because I have to make sense of things! And that part hasn't really made much sense to me- till now!:)

TRUE, GODLY LOVE means SACRIFICE! Sacrifice of our will for God's will. Sacrificing our comfort for the comforts of those we love. 

Don't confuse sacrifice with deprivation. God expects us to take care of ourselves and to treat ourselves with love, and He also wants us to be treated with love. But he wants us to do it within his guidelines and commandments. Elder Neal A. Maxwell paints a clear meaning of sacrifice when he wrote: 

So it is that real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the “sacrifice unto the Lord … of a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” (D&C 59:8), a prerequisite to taking up the cross, while giving “away all [our] sins” in order to “know God” (Alma 22:18) for the denial of self precedes the full acceptance of Him.
Neal A. Maxwell. (Full talk can be read/listened to here) https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/04/deny-yourselves-of-all-ungodliness?lang=eng  

Today I saw the bishop of my ward stand to speak, and he joined others through the ages in his efforts to describe love, when he spoke of the love he felt in seeing the baby about to become his adopted daughter. He also described one of the reasons for his hetitance in having another child stemming from his concern in not having enough love to give. (And haven't we all felt that in one way or another. I know before I gave birth to each of my children I wondered if I could love the child about to come, or love them like the previous ones! But love has always come to me!) There is always ample love, when it stems from a place of righteousness.

This dear, righteous man described sweet, sacred moments with the adoption of his daughter, where he felt tuggings at his heart strings, and his spirit cried out to have this child join his family on their journey of life because of the stirrings of love he felt for her. 

He loved her beyond what seemed his own capacity. His love was flowing and unrestricted, despite his prior doubts of whether he could love another child, as his others. He felt love. And he knew love- God's love- as he accepted his sacred role of caring and protecting this gift from God. 

God made the difference by not just placing this child in his arms, but also placing her love in his heart long before he met her! Their friendship and love before these early moments of her life formed before this earth, and came "trailing clouds of glory" (Wordsworth)

I was fascintated to listen to him because I am always studying things of God's love, in an effort to make sense of my life. God is continutally teaching me to recognize love- when I feel so inept at my seeemingly feeble attempts to love well.  And, this may sound surprising, but it also seems like God is teaching me that I don't really know what love is! 

But there are times when I feel confident in my ability to love. 
So how could I not know what love is?! 

I don't think God is telling me I don't feel love, or understand it to some degree, but I think he has long wanted me to understand something which I only just figured out! GOD IS LOVE. God is the source of love. God is the author love. All forms of love ebbs and flows through God, by way of Jesus Chist- the mediator between us and our Father in Heaven. I don't completely understand how that works, but I know it does. 

We have the scriptures to teach us of love, but I do not believe that a description of ultimate feelings of love is possible in our limited mortal vocabulary and experience. We are weighed down with clouds of darkness and trial here on earth. Our mortal experience affects every part of our being-especially our mental perspective of recognizing truth and love. 

Here on earth we get bogged down with people treating us meanly or thoughtlessly, or who are difficult to get along with, and we struggle to see the light of God within them because of our pride and/or pain. But, SOMEDAY we will be stripped of sin and weakness and we will see others through the eyes of love--God's pure, perfect love! 

We will no longer be fettered by any degree of darkness, but we will be exposed to 100% light and 100% love, and it will beautifully consume every cell of our being. We will no longer doubt whether we are worthy of being loved by others. We will no longer wonder if we are good enough to be loved by others. 

Conversely, when we experience life without the curtain of our pre-existent memory drawn, we will no longer look at others and intentionally or unintentionally weigh their value based on the things we value (Such as being kind, sweet, generous, talented, or interesting...or a myriad of other factors). In short, we will see others in the light of truth. We will recognize the spirits of others and know just how loved they are, and how loved we are. We will be enveloped in love, that we only have glimpses here with the stains of earth life.

We assign labels of love in all kinds of ways.... from people to food! But one day we will discover true, pure love,! Love that shines into all the dark crevices of our heart and mind. Love that is without limitation and illness. Love filled with hope and light, in a way that we can only dream. Love made of the sweetest essence never clearly imaginable or understood here on earth!

Because of our limitations in understanding love, we must continue to look to Heavenly Father to fill us with more of His love, and to teach us how to become worthy to enter his presence with purity of love- in both heart and mind. As we strive to follow the guidelines for love set forth in 1 Corinthians (as per picture above), we will have treasured and sacred experiences of God's love in our life, such as my bishop had with his daughter. We will experience that love if we are ever reaching for the hand of God.

Love can be sweet and cherished here, as we work at it, but imagine how much more magnified love can become. It fills my soul with wonder and delight to try and consider the potential! It's definately worth giving our life in the pursuit of purity and sacrifice, so that we can experience sacred love now, and an even more incomprensible joy and love later!

I pray you have others around you who help you to feel glimpses of the love of God. I hope that in the depths of your soul you will understand that true, pure love doesn't end, just because circumstances in your life change, or because you change (for better or worse). I hope you know that you are loved, and worthy of being loved. I hope you take HOPE in Christ and through Christ, and feel hope in knowing that you are destined for more than you see of yourself and around yourself. There is no lost cause to Christ. There is HOPE through Christ. Let Him be your hope and balm of solace.  

Christine

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The winding travels of life

This photo of me was taken by my college roommate-
about the same time as that Australia trip. 
As I went out grocery shopping with my children last night, I got to telling them a story about my trip to Australia (back around 1993). They wanted to know all about why I'd gone there. So I told them how I'd men a young LDS man at a Sunday devotional in Orem, Utah. Rob. He was visiting from Australia. We went on a couple of dates before he went back home. From there we kept in contact through letters and an occasional phone call. (Very expensive!)

At one point Rob wanted me to come out and visit him in Australia, and said he'd pay the way. Which he did. He arranged for me to stay with an LDS girl from his ward (Rhonda) who had room for me to live in her flat (apartment) during my visit.

My excitement grew about the prospects of this trip. I also wondered if this is the man I would marry. But one night, the Spirit of God made it very clear to me that I was not going to marry Rob. I felt disappointed, and figured the trip wasn't worth going. In fact, I wanted to cancel! But I felt strongly I still needed to go.

My children asked if I knew why I had gone, I explained that I do not know why, though I did make many friends, and I did share my testimony of Jesus Christ to them, but I know of no specific reason. Perhaps my influence and friendship made a difference in the life of someone I met.

I also told them that while in Australia I learned that Rob had begun dating another LDS girl there before I arrived. Eventually they were married! I only spent a little time with Rob while there. Mostly I spent time with single LDS men and women, and Rhonda, who rallied around me and showed me all kinds of wonderful Australian sights, and many other kindnesses.

I share this because that is how life works. We will not always understand the positive influence we had on others, nor can we remotely comprehend how our seemingly insignificant influence makes a difference in the work of God here on earth. We just keep doing our best in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

I was reading a beautiful BYU-Hawaii devotional today. And the stories he shared touched my heart. But, as those stories would take too much space to share, I will share an abbreviation of Brother Brian Carringtons closing remarks:

"You were leaders before you came to Earth..the Lord has picked you...You will have many difficult choices ahead of you. Like David and Goliath, you will confront many great "Goliaths" in your day."  
"There is a very good chance, that on your "road to Jericho" you'll not only find the fallen friend here and there, but you'll encounter Goliath between you and that friend. You will have to exercise the faith of a David, ... to accomplish whatever the Lord wants you to do in your life. ... Fear nothing. The Lord will be with you and you will conquer..."

"... I know God lives, that I know Jesus is the Christ. I have this testimony not because I've heard it, but because he has been with me every step of my life, and He listens to me sing in the ocean waves. He'll listen to you, and he'll save you, and he'll rescue you... pray that the Lord will let you be a servant for Him and use you to your best use..."
 
As you prayerfully seek God and study his word each day, He will give you direction and answers on the direction of your life. 

These words, of another devotional, gave me renewed gratitude to face the hardships of life.

"Some(day) we’ll understand fully, and when we see back from the vantage point of the future, we shall be satisfied with many of the happenings of this life which seemed so difficult for us to comprehend."

"We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, pain and comforts, ease and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments; and we knew also that we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable."

"We were undoubtedly willing to have a mortal body even if it were deformed. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for a day, a year, or a century."

"Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility. We were willing to come and take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this without murmur, complaint, or unreasonable demands."


"We sometimes think we would like to know what is ahead, but sober thought brings us back to accepting life a day at a time, and magnifying and glorifying that day."
[Spencer W. Kimball, “Tragedy or Destiny,” Improvement Era, March 1966, pp. 216–17]

Join with me in learning how to glorify God, with gratitude for our blessings of each day!  Christine

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 365: The long wait...is NOT over!

I'm sorry friends. I haven't been very good at writing the last several month. I started back to school, and I even took a major costuming job for The Little Mermaid.

But, in celebration of today I wanted to stop in and say Hi!

I am not quite where I hoped to be today, but I have seen the hand of God every day this past year (and well beyond!). He has helped me through the tears and sorrow, and I actually have gotten to a very good, safe, happy, and very peaceful place in my life...and especially my soul!

I have remained faithful to God, and without excuse I have continued to read my scriptures daily, say my prayers daily, study BYU Speeches and LDS Conference talks daily, attend the LDS Temple each week, and I find ways to give service daily and weekly.

I don't share those things to boast. I share them to teach you the basic steps to be happy. I know I used to wonder how some people seem so happy and in tune with God.  I have learned that it takes a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifice. I have changed from wanting my way, to wanting with all my heart the will of God. #ThereIShopethroughChrist

I have accepted that He has a special plan for me. 
I have accepted that He does things in His own time. 
I have accepted that WHATEVER happens to me, that I will be thankful.  

When I was the costume designer for The Little Mermaid I had a vision for how I wanted the actors to look. I spent more than 300 hours sewing and designing. They looked amazing.... except those who didn't want to wear the costumes as I'd planned. One girl always gave me trouble with parts of her costume, and blatantly wouldn't wear it most nights of this 2 week show! Another up and cut up part of my costume that I'd spent time creating for her.

I was of course frustrated at the lack of gratitude. When I took it to God in prayer I learned that while I had a small, symbolic/literal part of creation-- that he Had a BIGGER creation. And the most important creation was us-- And I realized that we have our agency, and often use that agency with selfishness and ingratitude- just like the actors I costumed!

I also realized that just like me, He has a grand vision of our lives. And we sometimes think we know better and we want to step in and change or alter things to suit our desires not his.

The play looked beautiful, despite some hang-ups. But it would have been far more beautiful if people
had remained true to my creation and vision for them!

Let us pray for gratitude and acceptance. Let us give him ALL of our hearts and submit cheerfully.
There is a master plan and time. Let us be patient. There are marvelous glories to come!

Love,
Christine

Here's the text format of the above poster. A special thanks to DANI who created the beautiful scripture meme (from: http://livelovelearnandrepeat.blogspot.com/2012/03/natural-man.html)

Mosiah 3:19


"For the natural man is an enemy to God, 
and has been from the fall of Adam, 
and will be, forever and ever, 
UNLESS he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, 
and putteth off the natural man
and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, 
and becometh as a child, 
submissive, 
meek, 
humble, 
patient, 
full of love, 
willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him,
even as a child doth submit to his father."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 264 of 365 days of Solace: God of Second Chances!

Our puppy when we first got her.
Seen in the arms of a small 6 yr old.
Last night as I was picking up in the kitchen I was growing increasing sad about a personal insecurity involving a current life experience.

Around this time I looked over at our beautiful puppy/teen dog asleep in her kennel. She just looked so adorable and my heart was strangely filled with love for her!

Our puppy 7 months later!!!
Seen in the arms of my 5'8" daughter! 
I did something I never have done before. I went over and opened her kennel to pet her soft cream and tan fur. She laid her head and paws out of the kennel and just enjoyed my scratching her behind her ears and under her chin. When I finished, she ("Sunny") was mildly resistant to going back to bed, but she climbed back in as I closed the door for the night.
Same daughter with the same doggy just 7 months earlier!

As I turned to walk off, I realized something. For those few minutes I felt happy as I petted and loved
on her adorableness, and I'd even forgotten what I'd been thinking about. "Wow!" I thought, "So that's why people have dogs. To help with sadness or depression." It was fascinating to see how a simple, loving act could alter my mood!

I am generally a very happy person, but I do have to keep my mood in check. Last night was one of those kind of nights.

As melancholy feelings set in again, after petting Sunny, I did everything in my power to fight them off! I prayed, read my scriptures and wrote careful notes in my journal as to why I think I was beginning to feel less happy than usual.

I needed to analyze the thought processes and try to catch and alter (through positive, hopeful words) any unhealthy thought patterns which would lead me to feeling sadness and apathy for my many blessings.

I don't like feeling that way, and I will always put up a fight at the first sign of sadness! I knew I could have put on a movie, played music, eat cookies or ice cream!, but those things are generally band-aides to console the symptom of pain, not treat the wound for real and eventual healing. I chose to be spiritually proactive at this time, even if the other way would have been easier.

My prayerful and reflective journal writing helped me to understand what insecurity was influencing my mood. The only problem is that I felt my reasoning was not overly unhealthy, but plausibly justifiable! Meaning--maybe there was a good reason to be concerned over my concern!


As I wrote I had a song come to my thoughts, "Someone Is Listening When you Pray", and I was not only reminded that a deeply compassionate God is very aware of my feelings, but that it is important to remember that I must walk with faith, not always being able to understand the answers to some questions--no matter how important I think those answers are at the time! (I must trust His perfect timing!) 





So I went to bed without the answers, and took comfort that Heavenly Father knew me, his daughter, and that my life is in His hands. I hoped that getting some sleep would help my mood.


When I woke up to a quiet house I was surprised to hear that in my thoughts the song was blaring, "Do you believe God's love is true, that you know what you should do...God is a God of second chances." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj-7_HUa2kY

I realized that my sadness was gone! I happily jumped out of bed and went in and greeted my sleeping boys with a "Goodmorning, Goodmorning. It's a wonderful morning" song! Today is my second chance!




I hope you find things to feel grateful for today.
I hope that if you are feeling sad or worried that you will do all the positive things in your power to alter your mood for the better. 

I hope you will ultimately allow the power of Christ's atonement to help heal you.


Some healing doesn't come immediately, or quickly, but I KNOW that healing will ultimately come if we look to God and allow him to guide us through the choices of our earthly experience.

Know that even when you feel sad, that you can have the peace of God to help you through any darkness.

Do your best! Give God the rest!

I am thankful for God's compassion, and for music that fills this world with beauty and testament of His love for each one of us.

Look Up! "There is HOPE and Happiness Ahead." (Jeffrey R. Holland)

God Gives all of US second Chances!

Much Love,
Christine

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Day 262 of 365 days of Solace: An early Wake-up call!

Last night I went to bed quite late because I was trying to make last nights post as clear, scripturally sound, and as near error free as possible! In truth I kept seeing errors or thinking of how to reword my intricate wording, and consequently I didn't go to bed until about 2:15 am! I wasn't too worried though. I know I could sleep in on this wonderful day of Saturday, as there was no church or school to wake up earlier for.

At 7:50 I got an early (for me!) wake up call from God. Into my very sleep brain I heard, "Wake up, wake up you sleepy head! Get up, get up get out of bed!" I wanted to ignore it, but I have vowed to God that my life is his, and if he wanted me to be awake then I would be. I'll do whatever He asks of me.

I prayed to know what to do, but I had no thought. I did see my husband wasn't in bed sleeping. Not a big surprise because he's an "early bird" and I'm a "night owl!" But I decided to go see what he was doing.

I searched the house, but I did not find him, until I went down the stairs to the basement. You won't
be able to imagine this, and I wish I'd taken a photo!, but there was my husband sitting on the couch, his hands to his head in frustration, and he looked a lot like the millers daughter from the children's classic story of Rumplstiltskin! (You can read that story here if you'd like: http://www.grimmstories.com/en/grimm_fairy-tales/rumpelstiltskin )

As soon as I saw him I knew why God had woken me, but just to make sure I quietly asked, "Did you want some help?" I was hoping he'd say no, and then I could go back to bed! :))

Briant said with concern, "I'm glad you are here. I didn't know how to get started on all these clothes. We need to get rid of a lot to the D.I. (a thrift shop). We have too many clothes, and the boys are making a mess in their room." My husband had a valid point. Our 7 and 9 year old love to dig through their clothes finding the perfect outfit.

I agreed to help and I sat down and began sorting. By the end of the day we had 4 large black trash bags ready to donate to D.I.! It took many hours of studying, sorting, and separating, but we finally had achieved a big feat of tackling an accumulations of too many clothes for 7 people. (In part because we experience extreme seasons where we live) But whatever the reason it felt great to accomplish that, and then to take it to the thrift store, along with a big lazy-boy recliner chair just taking up space!

I know my husband was grateful to have me there, and I was thankful to be there taking part in an errand of the Lord. He knew my husband was feeling overwhelmed at tackling this room full of clean laundry that we just didn't have space for!

I am thankful for my husband working hard in the house today and yesterday. I have some health issues that make energy and movement challenging at times, but with Briant's help, and the help of God, I was able to accomplish some great things today!

I need to get to bed now. Church is tomorrow, and it's one of my favorite days of the week!
If you want to experience church as I do, please find a Mormon Meeting house near you. Everyone is welcome! No matter your age, color, language, or lifestyle. You will always be welcomed! And the cool thing is that we dot the earth, as seen only in part here! :)  https://www.lds.org/maps/meetinghouses/


Take Care,
Christine



Friday, November 25, 2016

Day 261 of 365 days of Solace: Johnny Lingo, lessons, and Love

Tonight I showed my children a movie they have not seen before. I own it, but wasn't sure I wanted to introduce the alcoholic father theme to them.

I asked my two youngest what happens when they drink alcohol. My newly turned 7 year old said, "They die." I explained that over time because it destroys the liver, but that is not what happens immediately.  

My 9 year old struggled to find the word, but then remembered it, "They get drunk."  "Yes," I replied, and I proceeded to talk about the effects of alcohol on the brain and body. 

I also talked about how people who make movies try to make it seems funny to see someone acting drunk, but that it really isn't funny because it's hurting the person, and it's very addictive.  Of course I talked about a few other things, like our religious belief in the "Mormon" church (The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints).

Some of you may think this is strange, but I want my children to enjoy the innocence of youth. I do not tell them all the lifestyles and choices live. Instead I focus on the blessings that come from living a life that is virtuous before Heavenly Father.  

Having values and Christ-based traditions will bless them as they grow and realize how much turmoil and confusion is in the world. If I do my part as a parent to loving teach and nurture them in the ways of Jesus Christ, they will indeed understand the blessings of this scripture which says:

"And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.)" (2 Nephi 25:26)
 As my children get older they are going to understand more, and yes, lose their innocence to some degree.  I'm trying to do my best to help my children see the beauty and goodness in the world and in people, before they realize just how much sorrow exists.

This movie, The Legend of Johnny Lingo, was actually a perfect teaching tool.

 Afterward we talked about how this young boy and young girl didn't really know their true value or identity. They believed the lying words of what other said about them. They
internalized the cruelty, unkindness, circumstantial trials, and poverty, believing what these things seemed to teach them of their identity

In the end that boy grew to be someone of righteous power and influence and that girl was recognized as the most virtuous jewel of the island! Quite a turn around from their former circumstances

After the movie I had something of an epiphany as we had family scripture together. My daughter read for us in 1 Nephi 21 (compare to Isaiah 49) where it reads:

 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp asword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
I got excited when I heard her read this verse and I had her go back and repeat it. I then explained it as I understand it. Which is is that Jesus Christ came to this earth and following the natural course of his mortal body he grew into manhood. From his youth he had a gift of speaking wisdom and understanding. (a "mouth like a sharp sword")

And yet, even in his wisdom those (with exception to a very few) around Jesus did not see him as for who He was-- the Messiah, who had come to save his people, and the world!

Instead His people tried to attach an identity to Christ, which was ordinary, such as when they asked,
"Is not this the acarpenter, the son of Mary, the bbrother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him."  (Mark 6:3 KJV)
Can you believe it?! They tried to label Christ's identity and value as nothing special, even worthless! 

And yet, in this process of growth and experience the Savior was figuratively in the "shadow," in that he was not initially recognized for WHO HE was (and IS!). His people did not recognize Him, nor identify the perfect, omniscient care of God, our Heavenly Father, who did kept Christ in the "shadow of His hand  (and) hid" Him. I believe that the Savior was protective so hidden.
If Heavenly Father had wanted His son to be more easily recognizable don't you think he would have created him to be born into a higher social standing, and given him the face and beauty of an angel. After all, the corruption of society basis value on beauty!

Wouldn't having status and beauty been an easy way to get the attention of the world?  Yes, surely! But those things would have impeded the real purpose of Christ's mission on earth. Christ was hidden in what seemed physical and social imperfection. He seemed to have all the odds against his success. And yet it was in fact those very odds which helped Christ to be "polished" and prepared for His redemptive, atoning sacrifice and crowning glory! 


Nothing easily gained can be truly treasured! Those who seek to know Christ and willingly face any sacrifice, sorrow and persecution in that endeavor, also know that part of treasuring Christ in our hearts is having paid the price to know and appreciate that sacred gift of testimony that He is the son of God, and our Savior and Redeemer!




When I read this segment "and made Christ a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid (Him)," I think about a rock polisher, which turns and grinds rocks in a small container and with fine grit intermixed with the rocks they rub, hit, and tumble into the other rocks and in the process are polished through what would seem a painful experience. 

But that tumbling and turning is what helps the rocks to become shiny and polished! I read about Christ's polishing and hiding to show that Christ was figuratively "polished, but also hidden away in the supreme creator's figurative warrior bag (represented by a weapon of war--an arrow in a quiver), and awaiting his warrior action on the front line. 



Now, I'm no expert in rocks or arrows, but imagine, if you will that The Creator, God the Father, has a quiver (bag/pouch/sack) filled with finely crafted, polished, sharpened arrows (representing men and women of
righteousness who fight off evil and influence others for good), but this uniquely special arrow spoken of in this verse is His son Jesus Christ was saved and hidden until our God, the divine warrior (so to speak), was ready to pull this arrow (His son) out of the quiver and put his marksmanship against evil to its ultimate aim---the freeing of His children from sin and damnation (being cut off from the presence of God).  Talk about the ultimate secret weapon against sin!!

As my daughter read this scripture I realized that applications of this singular verse compared not only to the movie, but my own life! 

Can you imagine a bag filled with strong, beautifully crafted arrows? Can you now imagine anyone in this world who has ever lived, or lived now, who is an arrow of God--straight, righteously beautiful, trustworthy, and focused on the sole duty of allowing God to aim and shoot wherever God points? Can you understand how Gods aim is perfect, and how he seems to know how to work with an arrow that is resistant or hesitant? Sometimes you may wonder why the arrow lands as it does, or why we find we've been shot into an
unpleasant place, and yet God in His perfect wisdom can create "beauty for ashes" (Isaiah 61:1–3)?! Just as He did with Christ, He too can do with us!

There is no "arrow" (person), as perfect as Jesus Christ, but I can certainly think of men 
and women who have blessed my life because they were willing to be carried in the quiver of God and let His perfect marksmanship point the way they should fly through the battlefield of life. 



Isn't it exciting to think that, like Christ, our lives may not initially seem of great value or purpose and yet we have a seedling of understanding that helps us feel that there is more to our existence that just barely surviving the trials of life, and then dying??!

Doesn't it make you consider how the cruely and unkindness of people and circumstance may actually be polishing you and I, and helping us protect us and polish us, so that we can ultimately "fill the measure of (our) creation"?! (compare to Doctrine and Covenants 49:17 and Doctrine and Covenants 88:19

The "measure" of our lives will never equally compare to the grand scale as Jesus Christ, but whatever good we do here on earth will affect the eternal significance of ourselves and others that we have positively influenced!


You and I are in the process of something great, but we need to look to God and let him teach us where he wants us to aim the unique gifts of quiver and arrows that he has given us stewardship over for our personalized journeys.


"You are not forgotten."
".... wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love."
"Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!"
"He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name!" 
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/forget-me-not?lang=eng&_r=1 

As you look for the witnesses of God's love for you, I am certain that you will have a glimpse into knowing that you are LOVED and of GREAT WORTH!









To close with a quote from The Legend of Johnny Lingo: 

"....love is a most costly commodity. The more you are willing to pay, the more valuable the prize. The question is, are you willing to pay the price?" 
Let us all be willing to pay the price for true love. A love which protects, polishes, and points us heavenward!  

Christine





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