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Comer: Waiting upon the Lord: Why and is it worth it?

Commentary

By Ryan Comer - | Sep 2, 2023

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Ryan Comer

Like many people in the Ogden area, I’ve driven by the new Jack in the Box located on Harrison Boulevard. As I’ve looked at the lines, which seem to have consistently been overflowing onto Harrison, I’ve wondered if it’s worth it to wait. I was as excited as anyone when I read the news that there would be Jack in the Box locations in Weber and Davis counties. I enjoy Jack in the Box so much that on a number of occasions, I’ve intentionally stopped at the first one I’ve come to whenever I drive up to Washington.

When I think about waiting for something, two questions come to mind — “Why?” and “Is it truly worth it?” In the case of Jack in the Box, the why is answered pretty easily. I enjoy the food. But is it truly worth it? Time is a valuable commodity for me as a single father. When I think about all that I can’t do because I’m waiting in line, and the fact that if I just wait for the novelty to wear off I can go there without waiting in such a long line, the answer is actually pretty easy.

As Christians, we are counseled to wait upon the Lord. What does that mean? I think Elder Robert D. Hales, a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained it well in the October 2011 general conference of the church. In his talk titled “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” he said:

“What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate and to trust.”

A few moments later, he said:

“Waiting upon the Lord means to ‘stand fast’ and ‘press forward’ in faith, ‘having a perfect brightness of hope.'”

Waiting upon the Lord is, of course, not easy. When trials come our way or when doubts creep into our minds, we’re tempted to give up. We’re tempted to say within ourselves, “I just can’t handle all of this.” Turning away from the Lord can seem not just natural and easy, but necessary. I’ve felt that before. I have to believe others have as well.

So, let’s go back to the two questions that I asked earlier and apply them here. Why wait upon the Lord, and is it truly worth it?

As far as why, the answer to me is hope. Hope for what? First, hope for greater peace and strength through trials. The truth is, trials aren’t going to somehow disappear after moving away from the Lord. Trials come to everyone. If I know that trials are going to come regardless of whether or not I am close to the Lord, then I want to have as much support through those trials as possible, and that comes from waiting upon the Lord. I know that as I wait upon the Lord, continuing to put my trust in him and keep his commandments even when life is really challenging, I will have additional strength and peace through those trials that I would not have otherwise had.

Second, hope for eternal life. I know that this time on earth is just a tiny blip in the course of eternity and I know the blessings that come with obtaining eternal life. Because I know these things, I’m able to have some perspective during my trials. Yes, they may be painful. Yes, I may not know how I am going to handle them. But I have the constant reassurance that as painful as they are, and as difficult as they may be to handle, one day all will be right.

One of my favorite songs is called “There Will Come a Day” by Faith Hill.

It’s not easy / Trying to understand / How the world can be so cold / Stealing the souls of man

Cloudy skies rain down / On all your dreams / You wrestle with the fear and doubt / Sometimes it’s hard, but you gotta believe

There’s a better place / Where our Father waits / And every tear He’ll wipe away

The darkness will be gone / The weak shall be strong / Hold on to your faith / There will come a day / There will come a day

Wars are raging / Lives are scattered / Innocence is lost / And hopes are shattered

The old are forgotten / The children are forsaken / In this world we’re living in / Is there anything sacred?

There’s a better place / Where our Father waits / And every tear He’ll wipe away

The darkness will be gone / The weak shall be strong / Hold on to your faith / There will come a day / There will come a day

Song will ring out / Down those golden streets / The voices of Earth / With the angels will sing (hallelujah) / Every knee will bow / Sin will have no trace / In the glory of His amazing grace

Every knee will bow / Sin will have no trace / In the glory of His amazing grace / There will come a day / There will come a day

Is all that worth it? Is all that hope worth remaining faithful and obedient during trials? To that, I can give a resounding yes!

What is the source of this hope, one might ask. Is it just blind hope that someone like me tells myself because I want to believe it? The source of the hope is the uncounted number of examples I have seen. I have examples from the scriptures. I have examples from people in modern times. Most importantly, I have examples from my own personal life. I have seen the blessings that have come as people, including myself, have waited upon the Lord. Some things simply are too obvious to be able to be denied, and one of those things for me is the knowledge that waiting upon the Lord brings blessings.

I can say with certainty that I know the words of the Book of Mormon prophet-king Benjamin were true when he said:

“And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.” (Mosiah 2:41)

Is waiting for fast food worth it? Debatable. For some, it might be. For others, it might not be.

Is waiting upon the Lord worth it? Always. For everyone.

Contact Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @rbcomer8388 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rbcomer8388.

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