“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably. … [You see,] He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of. … You thought you were [being] made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” —C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1960), 160.
I remember the feelings I had when I heard this talk. I was in a place in my life where I felt depressed, homesick, lonely, and like a complete failure. I had found myself skipping Church on purpose because I just couldn’t face going knowing that my discipleship had been lacking. I felt bad praying to God for help and comfort because I wasn’t putting in the effort on my end, still I found myself praying each day for something. As Sister Craig shares, “Our discontent can become divine—or destructive.”
“Divine discontent is not an invitation to stay in our comfort zone, nor will it lead us to despair.” I found myself in an uncomfortable place spiritually. I knew I need to pick up my end of the rope by reading my scriptures every day, saying my prayers, making it to the temple when I could, attending my church meetings and serving those in need. But staying in my comfort zone of negative thoughts that I am not good enough and I have already failed, was going nowhere and I desperately needed to figure out how to get out of this slump—this divine discontent.
Something that Sister Craig shares is that Joseph Smith acted upon his divine discontent. He turned to the scriptures, read the invitation in James 1:5, and turned to God for help. “The resulting ushered the Restoration.” How incredible is that? I knew that maybe my peace and comfort wouldn’t come in such a way that it did for Joseph Smith, but I believed that my peace and comfort would come but it required action on my part.
“Peace comes in knowing that being more does not necessarily equate to doing more.” This was huge for me. I didn’t need to add anything to my “list of things to do,” but rather work hard on the things I was already doing. Maybe that meant spending 5 or 10 minutes longer in my scripture study or purchasing a journal to write my thoughts down during my study. Maybe that meant texting a friend or family member to schedule a time to go to the temple with them. Maybe I just needed to focus on the basics of what I was already doing and focus less on what I wasn’t doing.
“Remember the loaves and the fishes? Each of the Gospel writers tells how Jesus miraculously fed the thousands who followed Him.16 But the story begins with the disciples’ recognition of their lack; they realized they had only “five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” The disciples were right: they didn’t have enough food, but they gave what they had to Jesus, and then He provided the miracle. Have you ever felt your talents and gifts were too small for the task ahead? I have. But you and I can give what we have to Christ, and He will multiply our efforts. What you have to offer is more than enough—even with your human frailties and weaknesses—if you rely on the grace of God.”
I felt like this part of Sister Craig’s talk was important to share because it’s the perfect example that God just wants us to do our very best. That’s all that he asks of us—not our very best and then some. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I believe that working harder on the things I was already doing is my very best for him and he will love me still.
Read Sister Craig's full address here.
Share an experience with your ministering sister(s) that you have had on divine discontent and how the love of the Savior and his Atonement helped you carry your load and work harder on those tasks. Ask your sister if there is anything, she feels like she may need some help with and encourage her to turn to God in prayer and ask for that help. Offer to serve her in ways that may strengthen her desire to turn to Christ.
Faith In Action:
Let us do as James directs and ask of God. Let us follow the example of the Prophet Joseph Smith and take our divine discontent to the Lord. Simple tasks such as reading your scriptures, daily prayer, serving your neighbor, or spending time in the quiet while pondering the goodness of the gospel. Let us put our faith in action, and seek the love of our Savior and Heavenly Father.
Use the download below, and ponder your "five loaves and two fish", what is something you could turn over to the Savior and allow Him to multiply? Recognizing the areas in our lives that could be improved with the Lord's help will bring humility to our hearts and inspired change in our lives! You ALWAYS have enough.