Saturday, May 11, 2019

Exodus 16:3 -- On Focus and Faith

"And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
Exodus 16:3

This seems a little bit overdramatic to me, to wish that you were dead as a slave rather than free and hungry, but it does seem typical of our hyper-focus on our bodily appetites.  Nephi's brothers say something similar in 1 Nephi 17:20: "it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions."

Histrionic or not though, we do sometimes feel that our sufferings are more than we can bear, and the stress of dealing with them each day can wear us out.  So, what is the answer when we get to the point where we feel that our sufferings are too great, and we would rather just give up?

I think the answer here is the answer to almost everything else, and it is that we need to turn to the Lord.  He can strengthen us so that we can bear our burdens with ease, and even cheerfulness (Mosiah 24:15).  Prayer is definitely the first step.  Perhaps another thing to try is taking the focus off of ourselves.  If we focus on helping others, on serving the Lord, or really anything external, like a task, a hobby, or a book, we can often pull ourselves out of that self-focused zone that it is so easy to fall into.  That can help distract us from our current challenges and help us to be able to see other things, and notice more good.

Today, let's turn to the Lord in our afflictions rather than wishing that we were dead.  Let's find ways to let go of the focus on our troubles and concerns and lose ourselves in other, better pursuits.  Let's have faith that God can make things better rather than believing that things will always be horrible.  With dedication and with God's help, our burdens will be lightened and we will be able to find joy in the world and the people around us.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews