Everywhere I go, every place I have lived, the Lord has watched out for me. I’m not terribly outgoing, and I don’t like to travel. Yet my family and I have lived in three different states, and I’ve attended four different high schools. And now, here I am, on a mission in Montan and Wyoming, away from home and surrounded by people I don’t know. To be quite honest, it’s a miracle I haven’t given up, because Satan has placed that thought into my mind more than a dozen times.
Something that has been a tremendous support to me is the Lord’s comfort and His tender mercies. When I moved to a different city, attended a new high school, and met new people, I was always given comfort to deal with the anxiety that fell upon me each time. And now here on my mission, I’ve served in four different areas. Two in Wyoming and two in Montana. Just as before, each time I was given comfort and tender mercies from the Lord.
Moving around as a kid, the tender mercies often came in more outward things. I always had a place to call home. I had my family (and my awesome cat). I made friends without even having to try and I remained in contact with my old friends. I quickly grew accustomed to the change of scenery and pace, helping me to simply be more comfortable with my surroundings. This had been the case wherever we settled down.
As a missionary, many of those things are the same. I’m able to write my family and friends and hear from them. There have been friendly people wherever I have been. I’ve always had a comfortable place to reside, to relax. Though coming to a new place throws me out of my comfort zone each time, I eventually become familiar with the surroundings and grow to appreciate them.
In Isaiah 51:3, we learn of the Lord’s comfort,
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Our wilderness, whether it’s a trial or an unfamiar place, can be made like Eden. In chapter 25, verse 4, Isaiah speaks of the Messiah’s comforting powers,
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Christ is a strength to the needy and poor. He is a refuge from our storms. He is a shadow from the heat of our afflictions. He is the wall that can shield us from Satan’s blasting winds.
Each day, I feel a moment of comforting assurance that the Lord is there. I know it is the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Sometimes it’s triggered by the circumstances, and sometimes it’s random, or seems random. I can’t explain it, other than that every day, for at least short moment, I feel like everything is right in the world, and that my troubles are but a small matter when confronted with the marvelous truth that The Church of Jesus Christ is back on the earth today, that Jesus Christ lives, and that I have a Father in Heaven that knows me and watches out for me.
I know that we receive tender mercies from the Lord each day if we only pause to reflect upon them. I know that Christ is our refuge from the storm, and that the Spirit can touch our hearts at any moment and make every last bit of our heartache and anxiety disappear. Whatever you may be going through at this time, I know that it can be made light by taking Jesus Christ’s yoke upon you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you ~ John 14:18