Don’t give up. Photo by Gabriela Palai.
As you walk the lonely road. . .
Mile after mile
Without expected blessing,
This may be your trial.
But if you’ve done what you can
And still must wait awhile;
Don’t give up my faithful friend—
Delay is not denial.
Life is full of unfulfilled expectations and dreams. That is neither a critical nor cynical assessment, but simply a statement of reality. Due to our choices, the choices of others, and often due to the wisdom and omniscience of God, some blessings are not realized when or in the way we would like. Sometimes they are not realized in this life at all. However, we have the promise and assurance that no blessings will be denied those that seek in righteousness. So, then we wait, and trust in God and His timeline. This truth was reinforced to me while reading The Continuous Conversion by Brad Wilcox. In the book he says, “God’s delays are not always denials.” That part jumped out to me as the Spirit testified it is true.
As we wait, though, and endure, I think it is important to remember that we should do so well. Like God told Joseph Smith when he was suffering in Liberty Jail, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high” (D&C 121:8-9, italics added). Enduring well means we “wait on the Lord” (Psalm 37:34). But waiting does not mean we stand still. Enduring well means we don’t dwell on what we don’t have and we don’t wallow in self pity. We get up, put a smile on our face, and get about doing good. Will there be moments and situations of poignant realization of lack or loss? Yes. But they do not define us or our eternal potential, our destiny, or our opportunities. In that same revelation to Joseph Smith, the Lord shows how these very trials will “give thee experience, and be for thy good.” Then comes the reminder that, no matter how bad we think our situation is, “the Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? . . .Therefore, fear not. . .for God shall be with you forever and ever” (D&C 122:7-9).
So, as we walk the lonely road, mile after mile, we are not in uncharted territory. There is One who has walked this way before. And, though at times it does not feel like it, we do not walk alone.
Written: June 26, 2016