President Eyring’s words from Sunday morning General Conference hit me right in my heart:
The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God, but occasionally, covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done” create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us, or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time. Our feelings of separation from God will diminish as we become more childlike before Him. That is not easy, in a world where the opinions of other human beings can have such an effect on our motives. But it will help us recognize this truth: God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children.
Oh, the pavilions I have built over my head! They are towering, they are strong, and they were built with my pride, shame, and fear.
Quite often my prayers are selfish. “Please, Heavenly Father, could you just take away this pain/problem/situation/person?” I assume, rather quickly, that I have learned my lesson and I need to move onto happier times. When the answer (inevitably at times) is “No,” how do I react? I wish I could say it is with a contrite heart and willing mind. I do! But sometimes, I react by building my pavilions.
I wrote a very recent post on this forum called Letting Go, in which I spoke about submitting to God’s will. President Eyring’s talk reiterated to me how much further I need to go before I truly understand this concept.
If we were to get extra personal, I would tell you how we’ve been told by the Spirit that our family is not yet complete. I would tell you about our financial hardships and how we need them for some unknown reason. I would explain how my son suffers from a strange auditory disorder known as Misophonia, my soon-to-be Sunbeam thinks diapers are perfectly wonderful, and my body holds onto excessive amounts of weight as if it were starving on a remote island somewhere. I would talk about the house that is falling apart and the fact that we drive two cars around because we don’t fit into just one anymore, but we really can’t afford to purchase one that will fit us all. I would tell you these things, because then you could look at your life and realize, “Hey, wait a minute! I have trials, too! They are different, but they are hard for me. I struggle just as much as she does,” and then we would all laugh and drive to a nearby cafe and order chocolate. In two cars, of course.
But what you would notice the most about my extra personal stories is that despite the fact that I struggle and find myself fighting against the things God truly wants for me, my family, and my future, I have faith. I do. I have the faith necessary to –at the very least –attempt absorption of President Eyring’s words. This isn’t to boast, but to reiterate the fact that Faith precedes the miracles. Faith removes those pavilions that take our eyes off of God, and Faith is what buoys us up until God’s timing is fulfilled.
So, get some Faith! Begin to remove the pavilions that keep you from God. Listen, learn, and obey. I can’t promise your life will be perfect for it, but I can promise you’ll learn and grow and become what He wants you to become. It’ll make all of those trials/struggles worth it.
- What pavilions have you built?
- What works for you to remove them?