Sunday, July 5, 2015

"I'm not going anywhere"

I recently wanted to know something.

"Heavenly Father," I asked, "Are You going to leave?"

He wondered on what was I basing my question?

I talked with Him about the Savior. The Savior had gone into the Garden of Gethsemane. The New Testament records that he was "sorrowful unto death". He knew how hard what he was about to do was going to be- he asked, and was denied, three times for "this cup to pass from" him.

In the Garden, Jesus needed his disciples to be there with him, to pray, and to give support. They were tired and kept falling asleep. The Savior implored them -thrice- to "be with him" but they could not. He finally told them simply to "sleep on". Had not the angel (as also recorded in the New Testament) come to "strengthen" the Savior, Jesus would have been very much alone.

On that night, our Savior effected the atonement, the atonement that, among other things, allows us to repent and be forgiven from our sins.

Then, thereafter, he was met by Judas Iscariot and the guards at the entrance of the Garden. Jesus was whisked away to a tribunal that would claim his guilt, guilt punishable by death on the cross.

So, now, the Savior had gone through the atonement, had suffered for all the sins, pains, anguishes, griefs, and sorrows of each person of mankind. He had bled from every pore- from his toe pores, his arm pores, his face and ear pores, from every pore. He was weak from loss of blood when taken to court. The court lasted through the night. The Savior was tired, also likely, very hungry. Then, ordered to carry his own cross to the hill of Golgotha. He could not and Simon was tasked to carry the cross for him.

There, on the cross, our Savior was crucified, murdered- nails were hammered through his hands, his wrists, and his feet. Those nails crushed through bones, nerves, cartilage, and tissue. (On a personal note: I know something about pain and sharp things hitting into nerves. Years ago, my doctor was doing a test on my foot, to check for a mass in the nerves. Although he had instruments that should have helped guide him where not to touch, he pushed directly into a nerve with his needle. I, literally, about jumped to the ceiling, almost kicking him in the face, the pain was so excruciating. I suspect, though, that the Savior's pain, when nails were hammered into him, far exceeded anything I ever felt.) While hanging on the cross, the Savior felt Heavenly Father's presence withdraw, felt the lack of His love and support. He, in great anguish, cried out, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" I do not think he knew that this would be any part of his equation, to be left completely alone. Why else cry out, "W.h.y. did you leave me??"

It was because of these aforementioned events that I based, in a different context, my question to Heavenly Father, "Are You going to leave? Leave me in my darkest hour, like You left the Savior when he needed you the most?"

Heavenly Father gently replied, "What is your experience?"

As I reflected, my experience has been that He will not leave me in my darkest hour. Yes, He left the Savior, alone on the cross, to complete what he had to do. His suffering, his mission, his alone-ness were all far different than anything my life will be. Heavenly Father will not leave me- He was right there, with the Savior, loving me, giving me support in those two darkest, different hours of my life. I knew He knew what I was going through, that He understood my feelings, that He and the Savior loved me, knew me, and accepted me for exactly who I am.

No, Heavenly Father will never leave me, nor will the Savior, when I need them, and most.