Friday, May 5, 2017

Isaiah 38:1-5 -- On Tears and Prayers and Perfect Hearts

"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,
And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,
Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years."
Isaiah 38:1-5

I really like this story, because it is an awesome reminder that God both loves us and listens to our prayers.  God warned Hezekiah to set his house in order because he was going to die, and you can tell they already had a good relationship just from that warning.  But then Hezekiah prays and pleads with the Lord, and the Lord hears him and agrees to extend his life. :)  I love that.

God doesn't laugh at us when we're sad or frightened; he cares, and he wants to help us.  I don't think that means he'll give us all 15 extra years to live, but if we're doing good and living the gospel, he will answer our prayers and help us.  In D&C 6:36, God tells us "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."  He wants us to pray to him about everything.  It's not offensive to God to ask him to help us with little things: he's our best friend.  Of course there has to be a balance where we are also learning to take action and not waiting for God to do everything for us, or to tell us everything to do.  We have to learn to stand on our own--part of the whole earthly experience.

I've actually always wondered if Earth life is kind of like a spiritual coming-of-age ritual, like going off to college or going on a mission, or maybe joining the military... something where we really find out for the first time who we are away from that core support system and authority that we've had all our lives.  Coming to earth is like that in a lot of ways because we are away from God for the first time, but (as in college), we're encouraged to call home and stay in contact--to get advice, but not to ask our parents to live all of it for us. :)

Today, let's be like Hezekiah, not in being sick and about to die, but in our relationships with God.  Let's work on walking before God in truth and with perfect hearts.  Let's look to him in every thought--letting go of our doubts and fears.  Let's go to God and plead with him for the things that we need in our lives--and as we do, he will hear us, and work with us, because he loves us, and cares about us.

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