Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things… I am tempted to think… there are no little things. Bruce Barton
How many of you have ever run into a friend that you haven't seen for a long time? Have you had the experience where you renew your friendship and your life has been blessed? I know that I have. I have had a friend that used to be really close to me back many, many years ago. Time passed and our lives changed, and we ended up being out of touch. Sometimes, we would correspond through cards and occasional letters, and sometimes we would not hear from each other for years. Then, times changed and she moved back to Mesa where we ended up living close to each other again. We were able to renew our friendship and share our lives for the first time in years. Each of us was there for the other sister in times of trial and heartache. Each of us has been an influence for the good during times of adversity. It has been a blessing to share those times together.
I have had moments when I know that she was brought back into my life by a tender mercy of the Lord. I know that He knew what would happen to me and what I would need to get me through.
We all have moments like this. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the lives we are living that we do not recognize those mercies when we see them. We don't recognize His hand in our lives. It is easy to overlook the tender mercies as a simple coincidence. I have discovered as I journey through my existence, that there are really no simple things.
One of my new rules for myself is to find at least one tender mercy in my life, each and every day. It is a way of acknowledging that my Heavenly Father knows who I am and is aware of my needs. Since I have started to do this, I find so many more things than I ever imagined to be grateful for. When you start looking for the tender mercies, you will find them.
One of my favorite new books is called "Divine Signatures" by Gerald Lund. I love this book! He tells a wonderfully sweet story called - The confirming Hand of God on pg. 195-97. I am going to quote from that book.
"Ellen Breakell lived in Preston, England. She and her husband Alexander Neibaur, were some of the first converts in England when Heber C. Kimball came in 1837. As the call came for the Saints to immigrate to America, the Neibaurs responded and came with the first company, arriving in Nauvoo in 1841.After they arrived in Nauvoo that fall, Brother Neibaur set up a dental practice. When the church was enduring a new wave of persecution in 1845 and Brigham Young called on the Saints to prepare to leave the following spring and head west, the Neibaurs responded again. They sold all they had to finance an"outfit-wagon, livestock, food, and equipment - to go west. They went to Winter Quarters and stayed there for more than a year while the first pioneer companies went west. The next spring 1848, the Neibaurs once again sold everything they had in order to continue west. This left no money for trail-worthy boots or shoes, so Ellen crossed the plains with her feet wrapped in rags. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848. conditions in the Valley were very difficult and for the next eight years there was still little money for anything other than necessities. Not until 1856 did Ellen save enough money to send off to a mail-order house for a pair of high button shoes and she knit herself a pair of stockings. One can only imagine what a joy it must have been for her -and women will probably appreciate that more than me.Though it is not specified exactly when the shoes arrived, it was not long before the October General conference of that year. That proved to be a momentous conference. On Sunday, October 5, Brigham Young stood up and announced that they had just learned there were two more handcart companies out on the plains and that the Saints had to go rescue them. Brigham called for wagons, teams, food, blankets, and clothing, including shoes, from the Saints to be sent with the rescue wagons. In an inspiring example of covenant and sacrifice. Ellen gave her new pair of shoes and the hand-made stockings to the rescue effort. After all of those years of going without, Ellen sent off her shoes with the rescuers. Here, in her granddaughter's words, is what followed:
"Customarily, the Saints in the Valley lined the streets to welcome the wary companies as they entered Salt Lake. You can imagine as Ellen stood on the street that day to greet the beleaguered handcart pioneers, was she watching faces, or was she watching feet to see whose footstep she had lightened? Much to her surprise, when she recognized her shoes, she also realized that the woman wearing those shoes was a dear friend of hers from England who had joined the Church after Ellen had left her native country. Through her sacrifice,she had unknowingly helped to rescue the life of her dear friend."
Through the many years of my life, I have had many wonderful friends, some of whom I still treasure friendships with today. Many of these friends have truly become my sisters, and I feel that our meeting and becoming friends was not a coincidence. They have each brought great blessings into my life. We should not underestimate or overlook the tender mercies of the Lord. The simpleness and sweetness of those tender mercies will do much to help us in our journey.
The good to all: and his tender mercies over all his works.