. . . But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.
Harboring guilt and shame under a facade of outward church activity twisted my interpretation of this verse for many years. Before recovery, I read the words: "all those whom he hath chosen," and thought Nephi meant God had pre-chosen a select group of individuals, before this world began--and I was certain (due to my sin-ridden life) I wasn't one of them.
As working the principles of the steps began to restore me to sanity (the ability to hear and believe the truth), I realized that God desires to have all of His children become "chosen." Just as Tradition Three of Alcoholics Anonymous opens the door to anyone who has a desire to recover, the Lord also allows anyone to join this circle of chosen ones who truly desire to do so. It began to dawn on me that God does not play favorites. He longs to shed forth His companionship (through the Holy Spirit) just as abundantly as we will allow Him to.
In other words, all you or I need do to become"chosen" by God is be "willing to go to any length" (AA Big Book, p. 58) to trust and believe and have faith in His goodness. When we desire what He is more than we desire anything else, even what He has or what He can do for us, then we become "chosen," because of our faith and willingness, because of our choosing.
Prayerful thought: Lord help me to remember that thou art no respecter of persons, but only of my faith in Thee.
© 2011 Colleen C. Harrison