It’s a good feeling to have someone on your team, someone rooting for you and supporting you. Two years ago, when I ran a marathon, it was incredibly motivating to see my wife and two of my daughters at various points along the race, cheering me on.
I thought about that kind of support as I read the following verses from the book of Ezekiel today:
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown.Ezekiel 36:8-9
“I am for you,” says God. He’s talking to the land of Israel, but as I read those words, I heard the voice of a loving Father who wants the best for His children, who wants to see them flourish and be happy. The passage reminded me of the following assurance from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:
The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor.“Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You,” General Conference, April 2016
“It grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard,” says the Lord of the Vineyard in Zenos’s allegory (Jacob 5:51). “Will ye not now return unto me…that I may heal you?” asked the Savior shortly before His visit to the Nephites (3 Nephi 9:13). He is on our team. He wants us to be happy and successful, and He is willing to provide encouragement, guidance, and support along the way.
Today, I will be grateful for the knowledge that God is for me. I will trust that He will help me in my efforts to grow and improve. I will imagine Him cheering for me as I run the race of life, like a parent cheering for their children.