The more I learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the more I begin to see Their Hands in my life. In daily life. In small, seemingly inconsequential aspects. In "why would anyone else care about this but me" desires. In short, in the minutia of who I am and what is in my heart.
So, it was not surprising to me that as I've been pondering about some changes in my life and praying about which path to pursue, "coincidences" keep occurring.
- Conversations with a colleague when in Italy enabled me to recognize what I already had--and what I genuinely wanted out of life.
- A comment on my Facebook page made by my beautiful, insightful cousin Claire encouraging me to do what I'd been afraid to do.
- A phrase someone used during a business dinner that seemed to be a personal confirmation directly from Heavenly Father saying, "Yes, my beautiful daughter, you have chosen the right thing."
- A text from someone with whom I don't regularly communicate had Heavenly Father's name written all over it (I knew He had inspired it to occur).
- "Stumbling upon" blog posts and tweets that led to the "aha" I needed
- Finding "kindred spirits" among other bloggers who are able to put into words what I've been thinking/feeling.
- Listening to General Conference and hearing the Holy Ghost teach me small and simple truths about who I am, how God feels about me, and what He wants me to do.
Now I understand what I've been missing: the answers I desired were there all along, but I just didn't recognize them wearing such "plain clothes."
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught a similar principle, indicating that these "coincidences" are a confirmation from Heavenly Father that we are on the right path:
Most often what we have chosen to do is right. He will confirm the correctness of our choices His way. That confirmation generally comes through packets of help found along the way. We discover them by being spiritually sensitive. They are like notes from a loving Father as evidence of His approval. If, in trust, we begin something which is not right, He will let us know before we have gone too far. We sense that help by recognizing troubled or uneasy feelings.
-- Elder Richard G. Scott, “Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer,” Ensign, Nov 1989, 30 (emphasis added)I love that image: "notes from a loving Father as evidence of His approval." Like going on a treasure hunt, following clue after clue--and knowing that you are on the right path because you find the next clue.
These seemingly simple "notes from a loving Father" truly lead to wonderous, great things that I sometimes (too often) take for granted. As the prophet Alma taught his son Helaman:
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.It should not surprise me then in the economy of heaven, that Heavenly Father is aware of not only my grand desires but also of the "small and simple" personal desires I have each day: for a parking spot so I won't be late to an important meeting...for, well, whatever righteous desire I have in my heart that would enable me to feel a portion of His love and care for me.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
-- Alma 37:6-7 (emphasis added)
Fulfilling these "small," daily desires is a more difficult task, I think, because these are the ones I wouldn't necessarily pray about. These are the "freebies" that God gives just because He can and because He loves me.
Another blogger insightfully shared it this way:
I am amazed that I am much like the sparrow, and that the hand of God is in my life for so simple a desire....Too simple. Too unbelieveable to a grown up. Too wonderous. Too amazing. Too much what I want.
It seems so simple, yet so unbelievable to a grown up, so believable to a child.
We become so knowledgeable, educated, and dependent on scientific research when we “grow up” that we lose our simple ability to believe in the unseen hand of God. It’s not Santa Clause, it's the unseen world that we left when we were born as helpless infants into the space we call earth.
-- Deila, "When the Sparrow Falls on the Ground," published online 1 October 2010, Mormon Mommy Blogs (emphasis added)
Why should I deny the Lord from blessing me with what I want--even if what I want at this moment isn't some monumental, philanthropic desire to bring about world peace but is rather a "small," personal desire for what I need, what would be good for me, right here, right now for my personal growth and happiness?
Why should I stand in His way from demonstrating His love for me and His power in my life because something seems "too good to be true"? He IS good and He IS true. That should be enough reason to throw out all of the scientific calculations and dare to dream that the unseen hand of God will bring to pass a few moments of bliss for me, the daughter He loves so much.
Simple moments I desire that will be simply miraculous because I know from whence they came: from the Father who loves me, who knows me, and who knows how vital those moments of bliss are for me.
World peace, like other monumental goals, begins with "small and simple" steps. Like Heavenly Father blessing me with a few moments of peace in my world.