My first (and hopefully last) near-death experience occurred three winters ago. While driving home from a close friend’s wedding reception in the middle of the night, I found myself in the midst of a relentless snowstorm. I reached the canyon that separated me from my warm bed around 2 AM. The threatening snowfall and slick roads before me foreshadowed disaster, but I was too exhausted to notice.
About halfway through the canyon, the blizzard blocked my view of the road, and I suddenly lost all control of the car. I completed two 360s across both slick lanes, and skidded about 100 feet along the side of the road until I crashed into a tightly packed, towering snowbank.
It took me a few seconds to register that
a.) I had crashed
b.) I had just experienced a series of miracles.
For one, no other cars occupied the road when my car decided to clumsily figure skate across it. Two, I barely missed the steep drop that would have sent my car rolling into a dark abyss below—and probably my death. And three, I hadn’t suffered any injuries.
But I was stuck. Very stuck. And alone.
Apparently, the rear of the car struck the snowbank with so much force that it completely wedged itself against it. No matter how hard I pressed the gas, the car wouldn’t budge.
I knew I couldn’t get out of there alone, so I called my dad (the fact that I had service was yet another miracle) and prefaced my dilemma with, “I’m okay, but…”
He said he’d be there right away.
While I waited for my dad to arrive, three different parties stopped to help. The first couple confirmed that I was OK and that help was coming. The second man tried to push my car awkwardly from its back corner while I hit the gas, but no luck. When a police officer stopped and pulled a towing rope from his car, I felt a speck of hope, but that hope diminished when we realized his small police car lacked the strength to pull my mom’s giant SUV out of there.
These kind people wished to help, but none could offer the very thing necessary to rescue me—my dad and his massive truck.
As he came rolling into view in that dark canyon, relief swept over me. We attached the police officer’s towing rope to both vehicles and my dad successfully pulled me from the snowbank.
I’ve reflected on this experience a lot. I found myself literally stuck on that cold, snowy, lonely night, but so many times since I’ve found myself spiritually stuck.
Have you ever felt spiritually stuck? Helpless? Powerless? Desperate?
For me, feelings like this usually come when I cannot foresee an end to an ongoing trial, or when I feel powerless in my circumstances. I often feel stuck when I’m torn about a major life decision and feel unsure about which road to take. Sometimes I feel spiritually stuck as I helplessly watch those I love most suffer intensely and I have no idea how to help. I feel stuck after I resolve to kick a bad habit, but fail. Again and again and again. And sometimes I just feel stuck in a spiritual rut, as though my efforts to live the Gospel yield little spiritual fruit.
Just as my dad rescued me from my predicament, so too can Christ come to our rescue when all other solutions fail.
But He should never be our last resort. I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) to bypass worldly solutions to my problems and to go straight to He who said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). My own grit, tenacity, confidence and abilities alone can’t save me, yet Christ always can.
The answer is simple. When you feel stuck, beckon the Son of God, He who is “mighty to save” (2 Nephi 31:19). Have faith in Him.
Sometimes the invitation to “have faith” feels too broad for me, too unspecific, but I can wrap my head around having daily faith in the Savior.
So, what does daily faith in Jesus Christ look like? For me, it looks like this:
It is getting out of bed in the morning even though I’d rather pull the covers over my head and not face the demands of life.
It is saying a kneeling prayer and pleading with God to grant me the strength, through His Son, to face any hardships that come my way.
It is opening my scriptures and finding Him there.
It is pleading for divine help to conquer the temptations that intermittently creep into my life.
It is seeing the Sacrament for the sacred ordinance it is.
It is asking for patience while promised blessings pend.
It is accepting my difficult circumstances and trusting that it “will be but a small moment” and ultimately be for my good (Doctrine & Covenants 121:7).
It is muting my complaints when I don’t get my way and expressing my gratitude when I do.
It is relying on heavenly answers instead of the logic of men.
It is repenting every day. It is trying a little harder every day.
It is attending the temple when I really just want to take a nap.
It is stepping out of my self-centered box to find and help “the one.”
It is attending church even though I spend 90% of it chasing a very energetic toddler around.
It is teaching that same toddler, in the simplest of ways, about Jesus.
It is doing my best to magnify my church calling, no matter how insignificant that calling is in my eyes.
It is loyally living those commandments most difficult for me.
It is eliminating from my life anything and everything that does not invite the Spirit.
It is making time for family history and praying with my husband and feeding the missionaries.
It is living and doing with sincerity, because that’s the only way Christ knew how.
It is making Christ the center of my life and tuning out worldly distractions by learning of Him and living like Him.
These are the culminating acts of a faith-filled life, and as I review this list, I realize I have a long way to go. But I definitely know that deliberate acts of faith—proactive discipleship—merit heavenly help.
No matter why we feel stuck—or how we got there in the first place, as we consistently demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ, He promises us a noble rescue. From sin. From sorrow. From weakness. From the trials that are not our fault—and all the ones that are. His outstretched arms and scarred hands will pull us from the mire of doubt, despair, and helplessness.
Alma testified to his son Shiblon—and to you and me and all of us—that “there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ” (Alma 38:9).
He is the way. He will come to your rescue.