DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR & ANXIETY - LIVING AS A LATTER-DAY SAINT, LDS

Episode #202 - If You Build It

November 06, 2023 Damon Socha Season 1 Episode 202
DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR & ANXIETY - LIVING AS A LATTER-DAY SAINT, LDS
Episode #202 - If You Build It
Show Notes Transcript

When I end my podcast with do your part so that the Lord can do his, it is important to remember that the Lord defines his part, not us.

Episode #202 – If You Build It. Sorry that I am a little late this week with my podcast.  I think that is one of the things I have learned about the Lord.  Its always his timing.  When I sit down to produce a podcast, there are times when I cannot write.  And for those of you who think I do this by myself, I can tell you that I do not.  I cannot say I speak for the Lord.  Only one person on earth can really say that but I do say that the inspiration comes from him.  Of that I have no doubt.

I have always loved a particular movie called the Field of Dreams.  The story follows a corn farmer who begins to hear voices seemingly from the other side of the veil.  As the movie begins he is asked to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn field.  The message is not necessarily direct and that is part of the mystery.  He first hears “If you build it he will come.”  He takes this to mean that if he builds this field an old baseball player named Shoeless Joe Jackson will be able to return and play baseball, healing a wound created by a cheating scandal.  Once he completes the field and Joe does return the messages continue.  He begins a journey to heal various baseball players and a writers wounds.  In the end, the messages were about healing the wound and distance he had created with his father.

While I understand that the movie is entertainment.  I have often thought about its message.  As my closing message in every podcast I have stated “Do your part so that the Lord can do his.”  In many ways like the movie, we do our part through inspiration and following that inspiration.  However, even when we do our part and we act according to inspiration, it is important to remember that the Lord’s part is his.  We cannot do his work nor can we dictate his timing.  We cannot even dictate what part the Lord should do for us.  We must trust that when we do our part, the Lord will do his part in the most effective way that provides for our salvation.  Sometimes his part does not match with our expectation of his part.

Last year about this time, I experienced some difficulties with my autoimmune illness which lead to some difficult mental health issues and some strain upon my employment.  I was sick for about 4 months. I lost a couple of jobs and even ended up one night in the hospital.  I don’t believe that I mentioned more than a cursory note that I was having difficulties.  I did not have any serious issues as far as my health was concerned.  Just a serious bout of autoimmune illness.  For several months the stress and strain was immense due to my health issues and the accompanying depression and anxiety.  I had been doing my part.  I had been listening, working to manage my illness, living the gospel as best I could and even producing this podcast.  And yet I found myself in a very difficult place.  It was difficult to see the Lord in this process.  It was very difficult to see that he was doing his part.  It was difficult to see how the Lord was working in my life.  What was he trying to teach?  What did he want me to do?  Did I need to do more, so that he would extend his hand?

I struggled through my feelings for several months all while telling you each week that the Lord would do his part.  That might seem hypocritical in the sense that I was preaching what I couldn’t see at the time.  And yet the Lord was doing his part.  Part of the Lord’s work is to teach us difficult principles that we may not understand at the time.  And so we may be doing everything right and working to manage our illness and the Lord sends the rain and the snow and the wind.  Outwardly it may appear that he has entirely forgotten us and our efforts.  Often when this happens and when it happened to me, I questioned why and then tried harder, putting in greater effort.  Things at the time only appeared more dire.  And yet the Lord always has a purpose.  For me, I needed to learn greater trust in the Lord’s timing and in his abilities to be in the details of my life.  Did he tell me that at the time?  No, but he did later and I have seen just how valuable those moments in time were for me.  When the Lord does his part we may not always see it as his part.  We expect that the Lord will be merciful, healing, understanding, removing our pain and suffering.  And yet sometimes his part is not to remove it but to support us as we work through difficult moments.  So when I say that the Lord will do his part we should be careful not to define the Lord’s part.  He sees things from such a different perspective and with an eternal mindset.

We should be careful to think that the Lord is not in our lives simply because he has not provided his part as we expected it.  Sometimes he will explain himself and other times he will not.  While he will always do what he can to remove and reduce our suffering, sometimes his part is to allow for suffering.  That is a difficult thing to experience and to feel.  That is a difficult thing to understand when you are in the midst of the storm and asking that it be removed.  The Lord needs us to trust him that when he does his part it will be to our benefit.  The Lord will never do or allow anything in your life that is not to your benefit.  He stated that specifically to Joseph Smith in Liberty jail.  All these things will be for your good.

So in addition to understanding that when we do our part the Lord does his, we must trust that the Lord is always doing his part even when it may feel like Lucifer has the upper hand.  We must not give up when we are waiting upon the Lord.  I have heard it said that waiting upon the Lord is a sacred space.  When we patiently wait upon the Lord and allow him to do his part in his own way, we will learn those celestial lessons we need for exaltation.  I have said before mortality was never meant to be a vacation.  It was always meant to be bootcamp of learning.  Learning to trust the Master is one of the most important lessons we can experience in this life.  I have also said faith to be healed is our starting point of faith.  The faith not to be healed is where we need to progress.  We need to be able to say thy will be done without losing our testimony when the Lord’s part isn’t what we expect.

I am not saying that this lesson is an easy one.  But easy lessons don’t provide much learning.  Deep learning and solid testimonies are built in the space between our desire for a miracle and the occurrence of that miracle.  It is there we ask the right questions and seek for honest answers.  Patience can only be taught by experience and patience is one of the most important aspects of a celestial life.

So when I say that the Lord will do his part.  I mean it in every way possible.  If you are wondering if the Lord always answers with a storm, he does not.  I have had wonderful miracles such as my current employment and my current health.  These were the blessings the Lord desired to give.  But I had to learn some trust and patience first.  The Lord will heal, provide blessings, instigate miracles in our lives.  He loves us a great deal and I have found him to be deeply in the details of my life and those around me.  As I have asked the Lord to show me his hand, I have marveled at the depth of the detail he has shown me.  I have greatly marveled that he would involve himself so deeply in my life.  What I have learned from my experience is that he does the same for everyone that does their part.  As elder Holland might say, the Lord loves effort and we get credit for trying to do our part.

So when we do our part, we should have confidence that the Lord will do his and that better days are ahead of us.  This doesn’t mean that difficult lessons are not in our future.  What kind of a loving God would not teach his children the lessons they need to become like him.  What it does mean is that the Lord will provide healing and miracles after the trial of our faith.  And even during that trial he will be yoked with us carrying the load we cannot.  He will never leave us, unless we choose to leave him.  So while today’s podcast might be short.  Now you know why I say, do your part so that the Lord can do his.  Until next week.