My favorite new quote is by the lovely Jane Clayson Johnson – “It takes a lot of faith to put everything you have on the altar of God, trust in Him, and know that His plan is better for you than the plan you have mapped out for yourself.”
So eloquently stated, but oh so hard to do, and sometimes even to believe. And why is that? If we believe God to be our Heavenly Father in every sense of the word, wouldn’t and shouldn’t we believe that He has our best interest at heart? That He who knows all and loves us more than we can comprehend in our mortal state wants the best for us, just like we as parents want the best for our children?
We read in Section 58 of the Doctrine and Covenants “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.”
The hard part is that “much tribulation” part. Am I, right? Of course I am. No one enjoys that tribulation part, unless your name is Paul and let’s just agree, he was off of his rocker, or maybe on to something. He was probably on to something, but that is a really hard pill to swallow.
I love how C.S. Lewis describes it:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right, and stopping the leaks in the roof, and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably, and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?
The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of– throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
–C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (London: William Collins, 1970), 172.
More and more, God needs a place in this world to dwell. He needs us to be the kind of people to withstand all that the world will send our way. Not only that, but He wants us to be happy, to be our best selves and unfortunately, that process includes a lot of knocking about. But the wonderful thing is that He provided us a Savior. A Savior that knows how to perfectly succor us in our times of need. He knows how to help us endure and find joy on that journey. To find greater happiness in the plan our Father has mapped out for us than the easy journey we have planned for ourselves.