We had an earthquake today, here on the East Coast. Apparently, it was a pretty big one (in area covered, not necessarily strength), because my friends, family and acquaintances from New York to North Carolina all tweeted and posted facebook status updates about it. And our house got in some really good shaking time before the quake fizzled out. When they realized it was an earthquake, my kids came running upstairs to find me, terror in their eyes. "Mom, is this an earthquake?"
I smiled and reassured them, "I think it was, but nothing is broken and it seems to have stopped. I think everything is fine."
Immediately, the fear dissapated, and they started talking excitedly, remembering the little earthquakes we'd experienced when we lived in California. "I didn't even know they had earthquakes here, though!" After a few more minutes of chatter (and running outside to ask the neighbors if they felt the quake too), the kids were off to the basement to continue their games, leaving me to contemplate everything that had just happened...
My children were terrified when the earthquake hit. All kinds of "what if?" questions rattled around in their brains, and they worried that the house might fall down or even worse... Yet when I told them that everything would be fine, they trusted me enough to accept my assurances, and they let those fears and worries go immediately. I need to learn from their example.
More often than I'd like to admit, I find myself playing the "what if?" game. I worry and fret and fuss about what the future might hold. What if my husband loses his job? What if my friends decide I'm no fun and leave me behind? What if I get sick and have to ask for help? What if? What if? What if?
When I find myself wrapped in terror and the What If's are crashing down around me, I turn to my Heavenly Father through scripture study and prayer. He always answers me: "Be still, my child. I know what I'm doing. It will be alright." He whispers peace to my soul, calming and comforting me the way I did for my children this afternoon.
Yet, how often do I trust His assurances? I'm afraid that, far too often, I rise from my knees after a heartfelt prayer and shake off the comfort of the Holy Spirit as I worry and fret and wonder, "How could it possibly be okay?" Instead of trusting that my Father in Heaven truly does know what he's doing, I try to figure it out for myself, focusing instead on what makes sense to me. I need to learn a lesson from my children: When my Father says everything will be okay, I need to remember that He doesn't lie. If He says we're okay, then we are. Even if I don't yet understand how it all works!