There has been heartache in Provo, Utah over the recent fire that engulfed the Provo Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was a beautiful and historic building, not only for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but also for the state of Utah. This tragic event has made me do a lot of reflecting, especially when this came at such a sacred time of year.
With so much going on in the world: environmental issues, political problems, economic troubles, and rampant immorality, we were always thankful for the peace in our home. Sure, our home had its ups and downs, but on a whole our little family felt safe, sheltered, secure. Our home and family felt like the Provo Tabernacle. The Spirit of the Lord was present. We were humble, thankful, reverent, and giving. And then... just as the fate of the gorgeous Tabernacle... all was lost.
Brian's wife took off. Grandpa got cancer. Kurt lost his job. The house is up for short-sale, and we pray daily the bank doesn't foreclose. There has been rampant illness affecting everyone in the home, repeatedly. No health insurance. Water-heater broke today, needs a repairman. What happens if we get evicted? Where will we go- with no income? How could this happen? We did everything right... we just wanted to come and help... we prayed about everything... why is this happening?... what will we do?
Yes. I can see parallels in our life and the Tabernacle. Sure, the Tabernacle had a few paint chips, there were a few loose screws, it took daily maintenance and upkeep- just like our home and family. But there is something about Church buildings. Something about our favorite places. Something about them makes me feel like they are immune. Naive, I know. But something in me always thought, "They are buildings dedicated to God's work- they serve righteous purposes, therefore, no harm can come to them!" Yes. Naive. This same naivete applied to my family. Our family works hard. We are trying to do God's work. We try tirelessly to give to our neighbors. We sacrifice for the betterment of our family. We pray. We are so thankful. We put our family first. We are honest. We are faithful. I thought we would be immune from severe hardships. Yes, totally naive, I know- but I thought that some things, like, my husband's job- would be safe. Our lives feel like they are crumbling all around us. And the thickness of our tribulations grows and is slowly suffocating the light that once radiated from our hearts. We ache, and then feel guilty that we are not more faithful, so then we fester in our guilt, which is pretty depressing. We seek comfort, through scriptures, and inspiration through meditation and prayer. But as each day passes, our light grows dimmer.
Yes, when I first saw pictures of that beautiful Tabernacle on fire, I thought, "Great. Nothing is sacred. Nothing is safe." And I was almost numb. That amazing piece of history gone- so quickly- and nothing anyone could do to stop the destruction. It felt like it paralleled my life.
And then..... I saw this.
Amazing. This was taken from a portion of the building that was completely burned... and yet, there He is. Our Savior. Perfect. Strong. Brilliant. Welcoming.
This picture (to take the term someone else had used) is both unbelievable, and totally believable at the same time.
So often during times of very serious turmoil it is difficult to be able to seek out our blessings- jobless, almost homeless, with illness affecting everyone- it is SO hard to find Christ. But, I am so thankful. I am so thankful that we had already had him preserved in our hearts and minds, so that during these fires in our lives, we can see that He is real, and that He is in control. And yes, it is alright for us to mourn the loss of our stability and security. It is alright for us to feel sad. It is alright for us to want a job and home again! I just need to remember, that even though the way is difficult, He is here.
I am thankful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am thankful for my husband, and my children. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my brother, and his wonderful son. I am thankful for my parents! I have so many things to be thankful for, and I have had SO MANY amazing experiences where I have witness the hand of The Lord in my life- I KNOW he is here with us, I just need to look a little bit deeper in my heart, and I need to remember that He has a plan.