Recently, a daughter called to talk with me about a struggle she was having. After listening to her concerns, I felt impressed to share with her some of my thoughts regarding faith. Several years ago President Spencer W. Kimball wrote a book entitled: "Faith Precedes The Miracle". Since reading that book I have often pondered on the concepts he taught. I frequently reflect on the title "faith precedes the miracle" whenever I find myself in a difficult situation. There have been countless times when I have worked hard at exercising my faith in order to receive answers to prayer and and to seek blessings upon my family. Sometimes, blessings seem to come by prayer alone but more often they take additional effort. I find that Faith requires work. I have found that when you pray for a blessing you must then do your part in helping the blessing to come about.
Within a few hours of that call from my daughter, I was reading a book and came across an enlightening story. I called her back and shared it with her. My hope was that it would strengthen her and she would know exactly what she needed to do to get the help that she needed.
The story is found in the book entitled: "Power From On High - Gaining Spiritual Strength" by C. Max Caldwell. Here is the story and a few of his thoughts:
"Many years ago, a bishop friend of mine took a group of Scouts on a camping trip to Yellowstone Park for several days. They traveled by canoes across a very large lake to get to their camp area on its far shore. After being there a few days, they heard a radio message warning campers of an early-season storm moving into the area. It would bring snow and cold temperatures. The Bishop decided they should cut their camping trip short and prepare to leave for home the next morning. However, by morning, the winds preceding the storm had already come and were creating very dangerous water conditions on the lake, especially for young boys in canoes.
The bishop delayed their departure, hoping the wind would calm down. He went into the woods two or three times to plead for the Lord to calm the winds. While pleading for this blessing, the bishop received a very distinct impression from the Lord. It was simply,"Bishop, what are you waiting for?"
He knew what to do. He loaded the boys and their camp equipment into the canoes and pushed the canoes out into the wind-whipped water. As they left the safety of the shore, the wind ceased to blow, the air was still, and the water became calm. After crossing the lake and arriving safely on the other side, they all knelt to thank the Lord for His miraculous assistance. Each of them learned a valuable lesson. Through we trust in the Lord, He expects us to move ahead and take steps in the right direction before His blessing is bestowed. There wasn't any reason for the Lord to calm the wind on the lake while they were still sitting on the shore. The power from on high that controlled the elements was predicted on the faith and works of the petitioners.
As I reflect on my own experiences with faith I realize that miracles do come by faith accompanied by action.