This week I had the chance to be a guest contributor over at Work and Wonder as part of a group gospel study. We were discussing the metaphor of a fire given by Elder Renlund in this past April's General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He talks about a pile of wood and how that represents the blessings Heavenly Father wants to give us. We can let it sit there, untouched with all of its potential energy trapped inside, or we can strike the match and light the kindling to start the fire. It takes a small act-- and in this case, a faith-filled action-- to strike the match and light the fire. But that act of faith can trigger the blessings we seek in our lives that our Heavenly Father desires to give us.
You can read my personal experiences and insights here, along with prompts for how to put the things you learn into action. Or just keep reading below to see what I wrote.
Five years ago, our family packed up all we owned and moved from Provo, Utah, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were excited for our new adventure and the changes it would bring— new career, new surroundings, new friends, and new culture. What we didn’t anticipate, however, was the cancer diagnosis my husband would be given just two months later. We were shocked and devastated.
For two or three days, I lived in a fog of fear, worry, and what if’s. What would I do to provide for my four children? Would I move back where we had family to help support and raise them? My fears became debilitating and it all felt too heavy to carry on my own. At that moment, the spirit taught me that I had a choice. Either choose fear, despair, and anger or turn to the Lord in faith. As I fell to my knees that day, Heavenly Father filled my heart with peace and gave me the courage to move forward.
Elder Renlund teaches us that, “our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ desire to bless each of us.” But how do we access the blessings They want to give us?
We have to strike the “metaphorical match,” light the kindling, and activate the power of the wood pile described by Elder Renlund. The first act of faith may seem small— like falling to your knees in sincere prayer— but that simple faith-filled action will trigger “blessings from heaven” that we so desperately need.
I want you to think about something for a second. Have you ever had a child ask you for something they wanted? Did they ask you once and then never mention it again? Or did they ask you over and over again, maybe even taking action to try and earn it or somehow qualify themselves to receive it?
Now think about yourself. When you need help, guidance, and answers, do you only ask Heavenly Father once and then forget to mention it again, or do you consistently turn to Him, asking repeatedly for the desires of your heart and then showing him that you’re willing to work to qualify for the blessings you seek?
Elder Renlund teaches that “ongoing, repeated, faith-filled actions are required.” To receive the blessings the Lord desires to give us, we need to be consistent. We need to take the first faith-filled step, even if we’re unsure of how things will work out.
“Sometimes we need to make a bow and arrow before revelation comes as to where we should search for food. Sometimes we need to make tools before revelations come as to how to build a ship. Sometimes, at the direction of the Lord’s prophet, we need to bake a small cake from the little oil and flour we have to receive an unfailing cruse of oil and barrel of flour. And sometimes we need to ‘be still and know that [God is] God’ and trust in His timing."
I know that God is a loving God who “delights to bless” each one of us, but it’s up to us to strike the match. We can access the bounty of blessings He has in store for us when we consistently act in faith and turn to Him in prayer.