Thursday, February 28, 2013

30 Day Course on Faith - Day 28

Strengthening Each Others' Faith

          "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted,
          strengthen thy brethren." ~Luke 22:32

I know there have been times in my life when I have felt like I could barely hold on to hope.  I am grateful to all those who have kept the faith for me at times when my faith has been weak.  My hope is that as my faith strengthens, I can help others the same way that I have been helped.

Several years ago I went on a weekend trip with a really good friend of mine, Sigrid.  We had made the 10 hour drive between Utah and California several times and we had a routine down.  We would start with a full tank of gas, drive 4-5 hours to St. George, gas up and switch drivers.  Then we would drive a couple hours to Las Vegas and gas up, and then we would drive into Los Angeles.

One weekend I wasn't feeling well so Sigrid took the first driving shift.  Because I hadn't been feeling well, I decided not to top off the tank of gas (we had plenty of gas to make it to St. George).  As we were getting close to St. George, Sigrid woke me up.  She told me we were making great timing and asked me if my car could make it to Las Vegas.  I still wasn't feeling well so it didn't register with me that we hadn't started with a full tank of gas and I assured her that my car could make it to Las Vegas on one tank of gas and went back to sleep.

About 20 miles north of Las Vegas Sigrid woke me up, concerned that we were not going to make it to a gas station in time.  About 14 miles north of Las Vegas the inevitable happened and we ran out of gas.  Two single girls.  On a Friday night.  With hundreds of gas stations lighting up the sky, but barely out of our reach.

We prayed.  The car started back up.  We felt so blessed.  We made it a few more miles and the car stopped again.  It wouldn't start again.  So we started pushing.  We pushed for as long and hard as we could and then we would pray again.  The car would start up and take us part of the way, and then we would need to get out again.  We continued this all the way until we got to an exit -- an hour later.  We had come as far as we could.  Just when we couldn't go any further, a couple stopped and helped us get gas for our car.

What I learned:
~Always start with a full tank of gas!  Don't ever think things are going so well that you don't need to pray today, or read your scriptures today, or go to church... You never know when you are going to need that FULL tank of gas!

~Life is a lot more fun with a friend!  Sigrid and I were able to keep faith and perspective throughout the entire ordeal.  It would have been pretty miserable to go through that with a complainer or someone who wasn't willing to push their share of the load.

~When we first ran out of gas and could see all the Las Vegas lights, we thought there couldn't be anything worse than running out of gas with so many gas stations in sight, but out of our reach!  After an hour of pushing and praying, we realized how blessed we were that we only had to go 14 miles to reach a gas station.  Sometimes when things aren't going well for us we think there isn't anything worse than being surrounded by happy, cheerful people with their full tanks.  In truth, it is a blessing to be surrounded by these people who can help refill our tank and help us regain a positive perspective!

~The Lord helped us when we couldn't help ourselves. But when we could do a little more, he expected us to push.  Then when we couldn't push anymore, he let us drive a few miles -- like a reprieve in the middle of our trial.

~The Lord increased our capacity. The man who helped us didn't believe that two young girls such as ourselves had pushed that car without help.  When God is our partner, any of us can do the impossible.

This journey isn't easy for any of us!  We all run out of gas at some point!  Let's all try to be the kind of person who is constantly refueling those around us.  Let's find the good in every person we meet, and help them see that good for themselves.  Let's be a light, not a judge.  It's not enough to love another person, we need to make sure that we are showing our love in a way that they feel it.

Extra Challenge:  Compliment at least three people today, and notice how you feel when you help lift another person up!

Daily Challenge: Every day for 30 days in a row, 

I want you to say the following out loud at least 10 times each day!!!  
Be sure to say it cheerfully and enthusiastically!  
This scripture is found in Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

You've now completed this challenge 28 days in a row!
Be sure to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

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