In the recent General Conference of the LDS Church, President Henry B. Eyring gave a talk on adversity. In it he refers to a young man who was out of work. He said, “I spoke recently to a young father who has lost his job in the recent economic crisis. He knows that hundreds of thousands of people with exactly his skills are looking desperately for work to feed their families. His quiet confidence led me to ask him what he had done to become so confident that he would find a way to support his family. He said he had examined his life to be sure that he had done all he could to be worthy of the Lord’s help. It was clear that his need and his faith in Jesus Christ were leading him to be obedient to God’s commandments when it is hard to do.”
I can’t identify with that young man. As I examine my life, I see so many times when I haven’t been worthy of the Lord’s help. Instead of always thinking first of my spouse or family, I see a lot of self-centeredness. I see a lot of impatience and even flashes of anger when I’m driving, instead of patience and understanding. I see pockets of worry when I should be trusting. Exploring other nooks and crannies of my heart I stumble across love of money, lustful thoughts, jealousy. Sadly to say, you name it – I can find it. There is no way that I can identify with that young man.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not confident of the Lord’s help. O, I am. But I receive that confidence not by looking at myself but at my God. What relief it is to see his incredible faithfulness in the face of my unfaithfulness. What a comfort it is be wearing Christ’s robe of righteousness and to be found worthy because of that. What a marvel it is to receive undeserved blessings from God. I can identify more with the prophet Jeremiah who, standing in the rubble of a destroyed Jerusalem, said: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3: 22-26)