Friday, March 28, 2014

Psalms 119:71-72 -- On Becoming Superheros

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver."
Psalms 119:71-72

Sometimes the truth of these verses is hard to see.  We often rage against affliction, thinking that it is unfair and that too much is being asked of us.  And we treat God's law as though it were a straightjacket, preventing us from doing and being what we want.  If the choice were ours, we would probably choose the easier, wealthy life over the afflicted, lawful life.  Placed side by side like that, it seems like a no-brainer. :)  However, I think that we often overlook the rewards and results of affliction and of obedience to God's laws.
Affliction teaches us.  It shows us the reasons for God's laws.  It also helps us learn compassion and wisdom.  In verse 67 of this same chapter it says "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept thy word."  We usually keep doing the same things that we are doing and don't stop and think and learn unless we run into some sort of obstacle.  Afflictions are our wake up call... our impetus to improvement.  Yes, they are frustrating and they don't usually fit into our lives well... but that is kind of the point.  To grow into Celestial people or to learn to build a Zion community, we need to find a way to change ourselves.  Our attitudes, our desires.  And if God never throws up a problem as a mirror and allows us to see something in ourselves that we want to change... we never will.
Obedience also teaches us.  In verses 99 and 100 of this same chapter, it basically says that we will know more than the teachers and the ancients if we learn and keep God's laws.  And if we live God's law, then we will have the companionship of the Spirit, and God as a teacher; there is no better.
Today, let's appreciate the afflictions that help us to learn and improve ourselves, and let's work on valuing God's law before piles of gold and silver.  When something happens that we don't understand or appreciate, or a temptation comes where we would like to be disobedient, let's stop before we rage or panic, and before we commit ourselves to a choice, and let's think and talk to God about it in prayer.  There is always a reason.  There is always something to learn.  And no matter how bad it is, God will make everything okay in the end.  Let's remember and have faith, and try to find the lesson before we get angry or give up.  It isn't easy... but growing into superhero-level selves never is.  When we learn whatever lesson it is and we have our superpower-level inner peace, or our compassion that can touch even people we used to hate, or the ultra confidence we needed to move forward in a profession or a relationship... when we have changed, we will look back and understand why we needed that affliction.  The change is always worth it.  It is just hard to see when we're in the middle of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews