Two nights ago, I was moving some physical therapy equipment in an act of service to one of my families. It had been a long day, during which many things had gone badly, and I was very impatient to move as much equipment out of this third office as quickly as possible.
In my haste, I managed to get a hydroculator stuck in the groves of an elevator doorway. It tipped, spilling its scalding hot liquid contents all over my feet. I had second degree burns on my feet before I could even tear my shoes and socks off. That act in itself pulled skin off of my feet, and made for a pain I cannot adequately describe to anyone who has not felt it before. Although I've had second degree burns that covered the entire back of my right hand before, it was nothing compared to what I felt that night.
Looking back, however, I see that Heaven was very near at that time, and perhaps it has been for some time in attempts to warn me that this would happen. I remember a conversation at my father's funeral in which I was talking to my roommate about the time I burned my hand, how randomly that subject came up. Whether it was a warning or not, I can't know. But I'm in a position to believe it because of everything else that happened that night.
I know now what it means to walk on water. After a prayer for help that I can no longer remember I literally stood on my feet, despite the searing pain that I knew would come from doing so, and walked across a flooded lobby to get myself into the elevator shaft--the only place where anyone would be able to hear my cries because they were two floors above me. I know I was only able to do this through prayer because I was physically incapable of doing it afterwards, I was in so much pain.
And while this may be trite, I've found a new and very personal connection to How Firm a Foundation, the hymn I whispered to myself the whole way to the hospital to keep my breathing steady and my heart upon the Lord. The 2nd and 3rd verses became very real to me as I pleaded for His angels to be round about me.
In my healing, I can honestly say that Heavenly Father has strengthened me, helped me, and caused me to stand. I objected to taking the Percocet any longer than was absolutely necessary because of my personal beliefs about healing and the Word of Wisdom, and I no longer needed them after that first night. I move around with no pain, and I would be surprised at the quickness of my healing--but I know by whose hand it has come, so I'm not surprised at all. I'm grateful that such heavenly comfort has been extended to me, and I know it's an act of love by my Heavenly Father who loves all of His children infinitely.
And now that I am here, I am grateful for the ability to feel pain, even that which is excruciating, because of the Savior. I now can reflect upon my experience and understand more and more about what it meant for Jesus Christ to suffer in the garden of Gethsemane, and hang upon the cross at Calvary. Such infinite suffering is the only way that a fullness of joy can be reached, and it's only through relying upon His example that I could endure it with any kind of grace. He gave me that path to walk where there once wasn't one, and how much worse must have been His pain because of that. He gave everything--everything!--He had, that in my moment of need I would have somewhere to go. How could it ever be difficult to follow Him, knowing that such blessings always come?
In about three weeks, it will be time for me to return to the temple. I'm relying on that day so much already--so much has happened since I've been within those hallowed walls, that sacred space that exists there and nowhere else. I want to return, to enjoy that protection and relief that is promise to all the Saints that will give all of themselves to receive it. If I can't make it there in one piece, I pray I can make it there in however many pieces it takes.
Alma asked, "Is not this real?" I stand--stand--and resound with every fiber of my being that it is!
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