Last week we discussed our need to see the opportunities amidst our obstacles. Taking advantage of those opportunities can lighten our load and place peace in our hearts. And sometimes it’s the only way to overcome our obstacles.
But sometimes that won’t be enough. Sometimes lingering, unanswered questions plague us. Try as we might, answers continue to elude us. It’s one thing when answers take days or weeks to come. It’s quite a horse of a different color, as they would say in the Emerald City of The Wizard of Oz, when you spend years without any clear answer in sight.
Many decide to give up when their needed answers aren’t forthcoming. They think their answers will never come if they don’t come on their schedule. That’s like saying if a seed doesn’t sprout on your schedule then it never will. That’s ridiculous.
Just as seeds sprout on Nature’s schedule, the answers we need will come on God’s schedule. It may take longer than we’d like, but if we never stop looking, our answers will come when the time is right.
Go the distance
The Master taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). He never said how long that would be.
And He doesn’t need to. Sometimes we need to experience ample asking, extended seeking, and prolonged knocking because that experience will endear the knowledge we desire more to us. Sometimes we need to pay that price because that knowledge is worthy of such a price. Other times we simply need the experience to grow into what God wants us to become.
God knows what’s best for us. We need to have faith He knows the time that’s best. And we need the patience to wait on Him in His time.
That’s doesn’t mean sitting idly by, twiddling our thumbs. No! Patience in the Lord’s view is a verb, not a noun. Waiting on the Lord is an active process. However long it takes for us to find the answers we need, we show the Lord the seriousness of our desire by going the distance and continuing to look for the answers we need until we find them.
Learn to walk
Do you remember what learning how to walk was like? Most of us don’t. Yet most of us have seen enough toddlers learning to walk to fill in the blanks created by our lack of memory.
For example, did you walk perfectly upon taking your first step? No, you didn’t. In fact, you most likely fell flat on your face — or your butt. It took continued practice and many attempts before you gained the knowledge you needed to walk. Some of you took longer than others to learn the same lessons. But all who walk today do so without much thought in the activity. We simply do it.
In like manner, we won’t always receive the answers we need upon asking the question once. Sometimes we need repeated attempts as part of our learning process. Yet with continued effort, eventually the Lord’s timetable is met and we receive the answers to our questions.
Walk in faith
All of our questions have answers. Just because some answers aren’t readily available doesn’t mean they don’t exist. We should walk in faith that our search for answers will eventually yield fruit.
We should also walk in faith that the Lord will help us find the answers we need. He may not answer us right away when we need the experience of searching in order to grow in the way that He knows is best for us. But He will always provide peace in our hearts that helps us to have patience.
He will also speak to us in a variety of ways. It could be in a passage of scripture or a hymn sung in church. It could be in the comment of a friend or in the ponderings of a quiet moment. For me, often the answers I seek come in the form of a book. When I need an answer to a question, eventually in my search I’ll encounter a book that provides a stepping stone — sometimes through a new piece of knowledge, sometimes a new perspective — leading me towards the answers to my questions.
However He chooses to speak to you, never stop looking for the answers you need. You may not know how long you need to look, but you can know that your answers are there and that they will come in the Lord’s time. You can have the answers you need. And that will bring more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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