It was really hard for me at first to adjust to this dawning realization that the Lord doesn’t usually rush right in and make everything perfect, even for those who genuinely seek His intervention. The experience of the elder Alma and his followers helped me begin to accept this truth. Alma’s people were in bondage to the Lamanites and had prayed fervently for deliverance from their oppression. While the Lord did not deliver them immediately, He made their situation bearable.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. (Mosiah 24:14-15.)
I think it is an interesting phrase that the Lord said He would "visit" His people "in their affliction." It really doesn't sound like taking away the affliction. I understand this from my own addiction. He has not taken it away, no matter how many times I asked him to. I suppose it's probably like the gambler who asks his friend "Give me the money I made you promise you would not give me if I asked you." We must have agreed to all this "affliction" we experience in this life before we came here. And at times we want to go back on that agreement. We want a "softer and easier way" as they say in AA. I am grateful that the Lord knows best what will accomplish our purpose here on earth. And it seems that hardship is part of it. And even if the "cure" is gradual and may not be finished in this lifetime,
the fact that our burdens do get lifted, it testimony that the Lord cares, and is watching over us.
For discussion of any addiction or challenge
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