Monday, July 20, 2009

Being Made Whole

Nephi, in what has become known as Nephi's Psalm, lists off the great things that the Lord has done for him:

"Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time...And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away...And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man" (2 Nephi 4:23-25).

He then asks a question that I have asked myself recently,

"O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?...Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul?" (v. 26-27).

Why, indeed? When I have seen such great things, when the Lord has visited me in so much mercy, why should I allow Satan and the lies he spreads to have place in my heart to destroy my peace?

Yesterday, a friend asked me what changes I had noticed in my life as a result of a major decision I recently made. My answer was simple: I still have the same questions I always had. In fact, I have many more questions. There are many things I do not understand. But strangely, the questions I have excite me, instead of depressing me. My questions no longer disturb my peace and afflict my soul.

It is hard to describe the way I have felt lately. These past six months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, for me and for those I love. I have been driven to consider who I really am, and what I want to become. More importantly, I have reflected on whose I really am, and whose I want to become--and remain. I have considered the words of Nephi, "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul" (v. 28). I have commited myself more fully to a path I always knew was the right one. In doing so, I have found a greater measure of "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). I have found that the "enemy of my soul" no longer is given a place in my heart. I have once again tasted of the Lord's love and felt to proclaim with Enos, "Lord, how is it done?" And the answer is, as it always has been, "Because of thy faith in Christ...wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole" (Enos 1:7-8).

I have gained a greater understanding of what it means to be made whole. I used to think that being made whole meant being healed, or not being sick anymore. But I had forgotten the obvious meaning--to be whole is to be complete, to have all the pieces of your soul put back in place and welded together, to be unified in your heart instead of being fragmented and broken. Wholeness is more than not being sick--it involves being complete, unbroken, united. It requires divine grace to fill the "God-shaped hole" in each of us, to bind up our broken hearts and make us complete. I praise God for the wholeness He has given me, a wholeness only He could give.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).

2 comments:

  1. I think we make a mistake whenever we consider faith to be separate from repentance. This differentiation views faith as belief only and repentance as action only. It is not so. Faith is our leap into the dark. Because we are broken and Christ is whole, we stretch out our hearts in faith to Him, and we are healed. We act in faith... not from faith. The act itself is faith. Faith and repentance.

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  2. The Hebrew word for repentance may be useful here. It's teshuvah, and it means (roughly) turning towards God... which is what faith is too.

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