Click here to read the article on LDSLiving.com
I sincerely hope that you hopped over to the LDS Living site to read the rest of Brother McLean's story. There are so many vital lessons that we can learn from his experience. I know that is one of the reasons we are here on this earth together--to learn from one another. We all have trials and hard times and we all have the opportunity to learn things from listening to someone else share life-altering experiences.
“It was like somebody decided to bolt heaven shut,” McLean explains. “I started to wonder, What if I’ve gotten it all wrong? What if I got the church thing wrong? What if I got Heavenly Father wrong? I kept thinking this would end—that there would be some peace that would come or some answers that would start trickling down. But they didn’t. I couldn’t believe I was saying it out loud, but I was thinking about an exit strategy. It was so painful.”
Have you ever been in this position? Have you ever had a question (or multiple questions) and felt like you have prayed and prayed and no answer was received? I've been there myself and I agree with Brother McLean--it's a painful experience.
I also love how Brother McLean shared that he read a book about Mother Teresa which talked about a 49-year faith crisis that she went through. Forty-nine years? Mother Teresa? What is that all about? How could someone as pure and holy as Mother Teresa have a 49-year faith crisis? What this tells me is that none of us are immune from questions, doubt, and loss of faith. It can happen to anyone at any time, no matter how strong your faith is.
“I decided to recommit,” he says. “I’d wait on the Lord and look for answers that satisfied both my heart and mind. I’d attend church and not escape to the parking lot when I’d hear things that broke my heart or just made me feel like I was not where I truly belonged. I’d show up and shut up and listen and wait.”
Sometimes answers come quickly. Often times they take weeks or months and sometimes they even take years. There is also the very real possibility that the answer you seek may never come in this life. The timing of our answers is not up to us. The timing of our answers is in the very capable hands of our loving Heavenly Father. He knows the timing that is best for each of us and we have to learn how to trust in that timing.
But it was the perspective of John the Baptist that especially impacted McLean. “John the Baptist had a faith crisis that goes beyond anything I’ve experienced,” he says. “While he’s locked in prison, about to be executed, he tells some of his disciples to find Jesus and ask Him, ‘Are you the one who was to come? Or should we look for another?’ He’s wondering if, after all he had done, he had gotten it all wrong.”
The perfect answer that was designed just for him.
That is how a God who loves His children answers His children--with answers that are perfectly designed for each and every child. I know this to be true.
My friends, I know that we can receive answers to even the most challenging of questions. I also know that if the time is not right for us to receive an answer to a specific question then we can be blessed with peace in knowing that all will be well in the end.
I am loving my second chance at life.
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