Sunday, November 25, 2012

How the Holy Spirit Needs Us

This month for visiting teaching I chose the conference talk Anxiously Engaged by Elder M. Russell Ballard to share with my ladies. As I reflected on it's message I realized my visiting teachers had also shared this same talk with me earlier in the month. It must be a message that the Lord wants to press on my mind.

Elder Ballard talks about natural disasters and many and instances where church members around the world provide humanitarian service and share the love of Christ. He says, "But what about our everyday lives? What would be the cumulative effect of millions of small, compassionate acts performed daily by us because of our heartfelt Christian love for others? Our troubled world needs this love of Christ today more than ever, and it will need it even more in the years ahead."

He brings up the point that we don't always have to wait for a disaster to happen to give this love. Instead we should be praying each morning for the Lord to guide us to those people who are in need of it, whom we can personally help.

He quotes President Spencer W. Kimball: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 82).

Upon reading this I was reminded of a time about 7 months ago when we had just moved into our new home. My realtor had delivered a vase of flowers as a house warming gift. I had set it out on the patio to get some sunlight and  had forgotten all about it. Five days later, I saw it out there and thought how sad it was that no one had been enjoying these flowers but amazed at how great they still looked. Just then a friend from my old neighborhood came to mind and I thought that she might enjoy these flowers.

On my way to run errands that morning I stopped by her home and rang her doorbell. There was no answer so I left them on the porch with a note. An hour later she called me and apologized for not coming to the door. She said she was in the middle of praying to the Lord that somehow He would extend His love to her because she needed it more than ever that day. Just then she heard the doorbell ring but because she had been crying she was afraid to answer it.  Later when she came down she found the flowers and knew that the Lord was showing His love.

I had no idea that this simple act of kindness was the Lord using me to answer one of His children's prayers. It was profound and I was so humbled. Since that day I often ask the Lord to direct me to people whom I can help or to guide them to me. It's amazing how He utilizes me when I ask.

Whether or not we remember to pray for this in our morning prayers, it's important that we always be in a position where we can feel the promptings of the Spirit and recognize them so that we can be prepared for the Lord to use us when others need to feel His love.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

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