Monday, January 23, 2012

Dark and Dreary Waste

I just had an interesting little insight from 1 Nephi 8. Nephi is reciting the words of his father, Lehi:
 5 And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
 6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
 7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
Lehi essentially beheld Christ in this dream (or someone representing Him), who bade Lehi to "follow him". This same invitation is extended to all of us. Christ says to all of us, "Come follow me."

It's interesting to note that when he began to follow Christ he found himself in a dark and dreary waste. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ we aren't choosing an easy life or a life free from sorry and trial. Quite the contrary-- if we are truly following Him then we must pass through trials and tribulations, for that is the way His life was. You can't follow somebody by taking a different road they took.

So why do we follow Christ at all? Why not take the easy road? It's because we know where He is taking us.
 8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
 9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
 10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
 Christ has told us of the great happiness and peace and joy that awaits us if we remain faithful. The tree of life symbolizes the love of God, with fruit that represents eternal life. This path that Christ leads us on, through the dark and dreary waste, is the only way to get there.

It's a difficult journey, but we aren't traveling it alone. Christ has walked our paths and borne our sorrows and sufferings. He knows how to guide us through our personal "dark and dreary waste". He knows how to get to the tree of life. He is offering to be our escorts! There may be times when the darkness is so thick that we can't see Him in front of us, there may be times when we are forsaken for a season, but all of these things are for the best. Christ knows what we need. He knows what trials we need to pass through. His promise is that He will help us bear these burdens and cross these roads.

God's entire work is to bring us to that tree of life and to share that fruit with us. That means a lot to me, personally. It helps me have hope when life gets difficult.

1 comment:

WASPart said...

I agree with that. Those are some wonderful insights. Thank you for sharing that, Aaron!