Through my recent research I have had this idea of “magnifying our efforts through Christ” on my mind. I was taught this principle again in the most unlikely circumstances:
It was a really, really hard morning. My patience was gone before I woke up and a lot of stress was weighing me very low to the ground. Everything was a battle–full on battle–with my kids and I knew it was my fault. I didn’t have it in me to get on their level and explain so I was barking out demands and hating myself for it as soon as they left my lips.
I quickly met my limit and metaphorically threw my hands in the air. I remember thinking almost spitefully, “Ok fine! If the Atonement can really make up for my weakness, can you please save my kids this morning from my horrible parenting because I just can’t today! I just can’t!” I thought those words and then gave up. I tuned out the crying and screaming and focused in on the task at hand: I was washing dishes and gave up on all else.
He taught me a beautiful divine principle in the few moments that followed. My heart and mind were sincerely not expecting anything as I had given up, but immediately after my plea for help my 4-year-old daughter came into the kitchen with a toy for my 2-year-old. She got down on his level and started comforting him. She brought him out of the kitchen from my clearly frustrated disposition and into the living room as she spoke with him about ways she could help him be happy…until he was.
It was an angelic scene for a mother to watch as she portrayed characteristics and strength far, far beyond her years. I could have taught a million lessons on “loving others” and never hoped for such a result. To have her rise to the occasion so much above her character when I was failing so miserably was a sure sign to me of divine intervention.
The lesson was very clearly taught to my heart that as I turn my life over to the Lord, He will not only help us survive (which was my plea), but will help us–and our children–become so much more and portray characteristics and strength beyond our own spiritual progression. I testify that He will indeed magnify our efforts no matter how truly meager our efforts may be.