Saturday, August 9, 2014

He's Got it Covered

     While on a family vacation last month, I attended sacrament meeting in a building cradled in a canyon.  The view from the windows was of towering pine trees meeting blue skies and I wondered at this beautiful world God has given us. That gratitude for this majestic mountain was a moment I sorely needed because I had been tangled in a net of worry. You see, I am a Fixer. Both of people, situations, and things. I like to inspire, motivate, and create change. When I see something that could be better, I want to improve it. When I see someone who needs help, I am ready to give it. I am constantly critiquing myself to be better and working to achieve multiple goals. This is great...sometimes. It can also be exhausting to carry so much responsibility. It creates high expectations for me and everyone around me. These can be hard to meet. When my expectations are not met, I become judgmental and frustrated. So I try harder. I think of new plans (because Fixers are Planners) that involve me saying or doing just the "right thing" that would finally initiate improvement!

     Can you see the problem in this? My pride in this? Thinking that I have the power to make everything better and then becoming upset when (obviously) I can’t? I finally achieved clarity when the Holy Ghost spoke to me during that sacrament meeting in the canyon. As I took the bread and water and tried to concentrate on Jesus, I felt the Spirit whisper to me, “Don’t worry. He’s got it covered.” I remembered reading that another explanation for the word atonement is a covering, meaning that Christ has covered our sins and sorrows. And then my eyes teared up and I felt warm and fuzzy and like I was being lifted off the ground. A wave of relief, humility, and gratitude washed over me. I accepted that I alone do not have the power to produce change. Jesus Christ does. I have always believed that, but had forgotten to live it. We do not have to worry about everything in life beyond our control – or even things in our control –because He has got it covered. The basic word for atonement is kafar, which means “to cover” in both Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic (The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Part 1, Hugh Nibley, Ensign, July 1990). When we give ourselves to Jesus Christ, we find joy in knowing that we don’t have to do it all because He already did. We can let go of all the stress, anxiety, and worry that weighs us down. Of course we should keep trying to motivate and help ourselves and others, but if we succeed, it is because of the enabling power we are given through Christ’s atonement. Our successes are signs of His grace.

     “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever” (Alma 26:12).

     I am not responsible for or capable of saving the world. Only Jesus Christ has that power. He wants our help and is waiting for us to willingly give it to Him. He is the ultimate Fixer. He does not want us to fear and worry. He wants us to trust Him. Have faith in Him and his power to save. And then feel His peace.

     Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “Consider, for example, the Savior’s benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On the very night of the greatest suffering the world will ever know, he said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). That may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart” (Come And See, New Era, March 1997).

     The Lord is so patient, so merciful, so kind; even when He is grieving because our hearts are troubled and afraid. Even when we can’t seem to just let go and let God. His ‘arm is stretched out’ begging and pleading for us to trust Him! He will fix everything. He loves us. From now on, the change I vow to make is a change of heart. I trust my Savior completely with all He has given me in this life and the next because I know He’s got it covered.