An oft repeated thought was that if we will draw near to the Lord, then Lord will draw near unto us. The Lord does not expect us to come struggling to Him while He sits there watching us flounder about like a bunch of ducks on the ice. He is not so unkind. President Uchtdorf said quite emphatically that the Lord does not desire to break our spirits! No, the Lord desires to dwell in us, and also to empower us.
Jesus Christ is the Light and Life of the world. President Uchtdorf reminded us that we need never fear that the darkness will triumph over the good. The light of Christ is ever constant and ever available. It is the hope that we can always look to and follow. It is the light that will bless our lives as we allow it into our hearts, and allow it to banish all shadows. Light and dark cannot occupy the same space. Light can fill our souls. It does not need to be filled with darkness or despair.
I think that one of my favorite phrases really ties this all together:
Bloom where you are planted.
Blooming means to blossom, and to grow- and we don't have to be somewhere specific to do so.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ gives the parable of the sower. The seeds only grew in the good soil. The seed is the word of God. The soil is our hearts. We can make our hearts to be good soil. We don't have to have hard hearts, or be too busy to take time for God, or to allow concerns to choke out our testimonies of Christ. It takes effort, but we can do it.
Christ gave the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20). There are four kinds of soil, but only one allowed the seed to grow. I can make my heart be good soil, the kind that will nourish the good word of God. Potting soil made up of belief, prayer, Scripture study, love, service, and good desires. I can then water and give light (Christ) to the seed. I can bring my soil with me wherever I go because it is inside of me, in my heart. I need not be in a specific location or situation to bloom!
With good potting soil, the Light and Life of the World, and the Living Water, we can bloom where we are planted and make life more beautiful for everyone.
I can bloom, blossom, in the light of Christ, the hope of Christ. The love that Christ has for each of His children is tremendous. That love shines down on us. Like a flower leans towards the sun, we can lean towards the Son. We can grow upwards, and as we do so, we are drawing near to our Lord. The nearer that we draw to the Lord, the more that we can bask in his light.
I will admit something. I don't always feel very at home here in Texas. I moved here less than a year ago. It's my first time in Texas. It's a different climate than anything that I'm used to. There aren't many people my age, or in my situation. I'm far from family. I have a lousy health problem. Am I miserable here? No. Are people here horrible? Not at all! There are many wonderful people here, and I do have friends. But is this what I'm used to? Nope.
But you know what? That's alright. Because I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that light and hope are always available through Him, I can also know that everything is going to be alright.
I can find ways to bloom and grow right here in my home in Texas. It doesn't matter what difficult times are happening in my personal life. It doesn't matter what scary things may be happening in the world. I can find ways to bloom right here.
Christ said that by their fruits ye shall know them. Apples are good food, but they begin as blossoms. By bearing fruit and flowers of kindness and service, I can beautify and bless life for the people around me, giving both food and comfort. The Savior will come, and I'll be one that visited the Savior in prison, and gave Him food and drink, because I will have done it unto one of the least of these His brethren (see Matthew 25: 35-40).
As I blossom, I can produce fruits (cool apples, eh?) and flowers that can help to cheer up other people. I can be a blessing for Andrew. I can beautify and bring joy to the lives of my friends, neighbors, and random people in the grocery store.
Remember that the light and love of Christ are always available to us, His precious children. The sun is sometimes hidden by clouds, but the light and warmth are still there- otherwise it would a freezing night all the time!
"Know that there is darkness in the world, but walk in the light"- Pres. Uchtdorf. Andrew likes this thought. He thinks "walking" is staying, pressing forward, expressing faith, working towards good things. I agree.
Find the good in life. If you can't find a whole lot of good, become the good in life. For yourself, and for the people around you. You can be happy. You can blossom.