“What Should You Do When It Seems Like Promised Blessings Will Never Come?” Ensign, July 2020
There’s this thing I like to call the “never principle.” Basically, I noticed that whenever I’d start to feel really down about whether my dreams would be realized or my prayers answered, the word never would slip in. Not only would the promised blessing not come today or next month; it was never going to happen.
And it wasn’t just me. I started noticing it from roommates, friends, and classmates. I’d constantly hear things like, “I’m never going to learn this” or “I’m never going to get into grad school” or the ever-popular “I’m never going to get married.”
These nevers bogged me down. They made me feel terrible. And they always seemed to creep in when I was most worried about the future. I was tired of feeling that way. So I went to Heavenly Father. I asked Him to help me so I wouldn’t feel so hopeless and doubtful.
Not long after, I was reading the scriptures, and a line in the Lord’s Prayer caught my eye. Jesus prays, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6: 11). I’d never given this verse much thought before, other than thinking of the phrase as a holdover from an older time. But this time the words of the Lord stopped me short. It struck me that Christ repeats “day” twice in this brief verse. He doesn’t ask for bread for a week. Or a month. Or even for two days. He asks for one single day. That day.
I think that’s the key to maintaining hope. God wants to give us the physical and spiritual sustenance—the bread—we need to keep moving forward. But He doesn’t give us His whole storehouse at once. He wants us to come to Him every day.
So I pray every day. I pray that I can have the strength to get through the challenges of that day. To have hope and trust in Him that day. And when the nevers crop up, I call them out with internal dialogue between my two opposing attitudes, which goes something like this:
Hangry-for-Bread Me: I’m never going to find someone to marry! And with medical advances, I’ll probably live to be, like, a hundred years old. I’ll be the oldest spinster in human history.
Daily-Bread Me: Chill out. Today, Tuesday—the day when you have six classes and a yogurt stain on your shirt and are meeting your best friend for dinner—is not the only day you have available to look for a companion. You’re only 22. You have time to sort your life out. And even when you’re 92, God will still be aware of every minute of your day and all your wants and needs. Be patient. Don’t you trust Him?
Hangry-for-Bread Me: Well, when you put it that way …
All jokes aside, it can be really hard when heartfelt prayers aren’t answered, righteous desires aren’t fulfilled, and promised blessings don’t seem to be coming. Hope may seem hard to find. But I know that God loves us. And because we are His children, He is anxious to help and bless us. Our promised blessings may not come today or tomorrow or two weeks from now. Or even in this life. But someday they will. And in the meantime, God will be there, leading you forward one step at a time. And He’ll be holding a fresh loaf of today’s bread, warm ready to nourish your soul. Ask Him.