Quite a few years ago I had a series of earaches. Each one seemed worse than the last. I went to the doctor and got antibiotics, and each time it took longer to get better. That was back when every trip to the doctor was a bag of groceries we couldn’t buy, so I delayed going each time, hoping it would just go away. It was late Sunday evening and my earache was intolerable. I decided I couldn’t wait until Monday morning and was going to go to the emergency room. As I was putting on my coat the thought occurred to me to ask for a priesthood blessing. Both my father and brother were there following a family dinner. During all of this it had not yet occurred to me to ask for a blessing.
I sat on a chair in my living room. My brother anointed me and my Father gave me a blessing. It was simply that I was to get better instantly, and that I did not need to go to the doctor. As he said this my mind was spinning with the cost and complication of going to the emergency room. I was in intense pain and apprehension.
As my father took his hands off of my head he said, “Well, that was a powerful blessing. I’ve done my part, so don’t blame me if you’re not healed.” It was an amazing statement. I’m still not sure if he meant it to be encouraging, or questioning. As soon as those words came from his lips, my ear was healed. It was so sudden that I was startled by it. All pain left. My ear instantly opened up and I could hear from it. I opened my jaw a few times and found that everything was normal.
“I’m healed.” I said rather softly. “My ear is healed.” I had to answer a lot of questions, but my ear was completely well and stayed that way. All of a sudden I had a strange thought go through my mind – “Well, that was simple.”
It was almost anticlimactic. A few seconds ago I was headed to the hospital, anticipating weeks of pain and months of bills I could hardly pay. Then, in that instant it was all over, and my reaction to it was that it felt “simple”.
Over the years I have discovered that all miracles make our lives simple. In one moment we’re facing some overwhelming challenge, and then in an instant it is gone – simple. In one moment we are overwhelmed with confusion and daunting challenges, and then the answer comes and it is all over – simple. One minute we are on a life-long struggle to be Born Again, or to find the blessings of Calling and Election, and then a moment later, the journey is over – simple.
It has taken me longer to realize that every time I receive a prompting that my Savior is trying to simplify my life. I receive a prompting to drive the speed limit and by ignoring it, I complicate my life with the unfolding consequences. When I obey, nothing dramatic usually happens. Unrecognized blessings surround me with safety and my life just seems – simple. Yet, the miracle did occur. I was protected. I didn’t get a ticket, or have an accident, or I missed danger by the few feet and few seconds not speeding took off of my journey. It just has taken years of experience to develop eyes of faith to see the “simpleness of the way”.
Nearly every time my life has imploded or exploded, there was some moment when I knew a better choice and didn’t take it. “I knew that was going to happen!” has almost become idiomatic and axiomatic we say it so often. We just rarely analyze why we know these things – because Christ tried to show us a simpler way, and we childishly insisted on proceeding with our own way.
Anytime Christ speaks to us, or teaches us, or atones for us, He is simplifying our lives. Not only is this true, but the way that we hear Him, and the fact that His voice is present in every moment of our lives is itself simple. We don’t have to fight for it or even qualify for it. His voice is just there – simple.
He leadeth me beside the still waters – simple.
© June 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.