There are people from 17 different countries visiting this blog. Whether the visits are legit or not, is another matter but it's interesting to me because the reason I chose the background for this blog was because the message of Jesus Christ is for the entire world - a world in desperate need of a Savior. Although it may not seem so at times, He is in charge of all of us and has all things under control. We speak different languages and have different cultural practices but we are all in this together and can draw great strength from each other.
Here is what is in my heart right now...
I don't know where each of you are on your journey to knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.
Maybe you are standing strong, feet firmly planted on the path, a bright faith burning in your heart and a determination to endure to the end in righteousness.
Maybe you are just now stepping onto the pathway and all of this is very new to you.
Maybe you are skeptical and wondering how I could write the things I do.
Maybe you have been on the path before but wandered off and have discovered that you want to find the path again but you aren't sure where to go.
Maybe you are firm in your faith but you are so burdened with the sadness of your life that you aren't sure if you can see the path in front of you.
Maybe you are on the right path but just barely. You don't feel good enough or that you are doing enough or that you are worthy to even be on that path.
Maybe you feel a longing to be on the path but you are afraid of what the others around you will think or say or do.
I could keep going...
We are all in such different spots in our spiritual progression and that is okay.
"Discipleship is a journey. We need the refining lessons of the journey to craft our character and purify our hearts. By patiently walking in the path of discipleship, we demonstrate to ourselves the measure of our faith and our willingness to accept God’s will rather than ours." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf "The Way of the Disciple" General Conference, April 2011.
The amazing thing about our Savior is that it doesn't matter where we are on that path, when we are ready to turn toward Him, even if just a portion of our heart is longing to know Him better, He will meet us on the path where we are.
"The first step on the path of discipleship begins, luckily enough, in the exact place where we stand! We do not have to prequalify to take that first step. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor. There is no requirement to be educated, eloquent, or intellectual. We do not have to be perfect or well-spoken or even well-mannered." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf "The Way of the Disciple" General Conference, April 2011.
As I contemplate the Second Coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, I know it will require courage for those of us who want to be ready, to be ready. Satan is going to do all He can to keep us from our path to the Savior. No matter where we are on that path and no matter where we live in this world, we must plead for courage and faith. We can't be too hard on ourselves. We must try a bit harder tomorrow than we did today. When we stumble, we must pick ourselves up and keep moving forward.
"... for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." Isaiah 49:23
I have no idea if I'll be living on the earth when the Savior comes or not but I do know that I will never, ever, ever regret preparing myself and waiting for Him to come. How could that ever be a waste of time? (btw...I'll discuss later how "waiting for Him" does not mean just sitting there doing nothing. "Being Still" and doing nothing are two very different things.)
So, my friends from around the world - Russia, Spain, Romania, Belarus, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, France, The United States, Ukraine, Slovenia, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, India and Singapore - don't give up. If you read only 1 verse in the scriptures yesterday, then today read 2. If you said only 1 prayer yesterday, then today say 2.
But if you are someone who hasn't read a scripture or said a prayer in a very long time - or ever - I challenge you to get down on your knees and talk to the Father who longs to hear from you, who longs to help you every day, who longs to hold you, His child, in His arms once you have returned Home. Tell Him that you are afraid and unsure. Ask Him to help you find the path back to Him. Feel His love fill your heart. And then get up off of your knees, live what you want to believe and never look back.
Keep Moving Forward...
BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN!