Consistent & Resilient Trust by L. Todd Budge
Content by Lydia Defranchi-Nelson
I've never been the image of grace under pressure. When hardships come my way, my typical response is to get grumpy, put my head down and grit my teeth to push through. At the birth of my third child recently, it became clear we’d have to induce labor once again, and it was an experience I was dreading. My husband gave me a blessing and, to be honest, it wasn’t a very comforting blessing--something along the lines of “God loves you, but this is just one of those experiences in life you have to deal with.” “Great,” I muttered to myself, “just once, couldn’t the answer be something a little more miraculous?”
Labor finally came, with the help of an IV drip of Pitocin. It was unglamorous and painful, and it felt like it would never end. But you know what? It did finally end, and there was a sweet, sweet baby placed in my arms! Elder Budge teaches that our trials and afflictions can make space for greater joy. In reviewing his talk, I realized how perfectly it applies to childbearing: throughout months of discomfort and in grueling labor, the Lord literally used the pain and discomfort to make space within my body and my life for a precious, perfect child.
With some distance, I realize that of course He couldn’t just take this away: it was required to receive the precious gift that came at the end. However children come to our families, they enter this world at great cost to someone--yet, without that pain and sorrow, there is no joy and triumph of new life. And it is not lost on me this Christmas season that Hope personified came into this world in that same way.
Of course, the trials and joys of motherhood were just beginning that day in the hospital. Sometimes after several sleepless nights in a row, I too feel like the brother of Jared, crying out “O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?” Of course, He doesn’t. He surrounds us with angels, even when they are unseen. I am inspired by the idea of consistent and resilient happiness – the result of putting my trust in the Lord. As Elder Budge teaches, “His gospel is a message of hope. Sorrow coupled with hope in Jesus Christ holds the promise of enduring joy.”
I AM STATEMENT
I AM trusting.
I consistently and resiliently look to the Lord. I know that happiness is not a result of one’s circumstances but rather the peace and joy that come when we surrender ourselves to God and put our trust in Him in all things.
FAITH IN ACTION
Elder Budge describes the Jaredites’ journey to the promised land as metaphor for our journey through mortality. They were asked to do something extremely difficult: cross an ocean they didn’t know to find a land they’d never even heard of. To put that in perspective for our day, the Lord might as well have asked me to climb into a tin can and head for outer space!
Next time you are faced with a trial, consider following the pattern described in the book of Ether and highlighted by Elder Budge (you can also use the journaling worksheet provided as a download below):
1) Pray, laying out your struggle or question before God.
2) Pray again, this time focusing on expressions of faith and trust.
3) Follow God’s instructions, commending yourself into His hands. Build your “barge” and place your burdens in it.
4) There will likely be an element of blind faith, but there is also a part we can solve ourselves. Remember the brother of Jared’s solution for lighting the barges: he went out and found stones (doing his part first) then brought them to the Lord and asked Him to touch them (asking God to magnify our efforts).
5) Consistently and resiliently trust God. Just like Elder Budge’s grandson who was afraid to ride the carousel but trusted his grandmother, remind yourself: “I don’t feel safe, but I am safe.” (see I AM statements)
6) Look back on your journey and see how God “never does cease to blow us toward our heavenly home.”
Learning to trust God is a lifelong journey, and I’m frequently strengthened in my resolve to do so when I hear friends share their stories of His tender mercies, even in little things. For example, I loved Elder Budge’s story about his grandson trusting his grandmother on a carousel; “I don’t feel safe, but I am safe!” Consider sharing about a time you trusted in the Lord and were led by the Spirit with a friend or a sister you minister to, or on social media. It may be just what someone needs to hear.