Have you ever felt as if God was not listening to your prayers? Did you feel God had forgotten about you altogether?
Those are questions Edwin Smith, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-say Saints, started to have during a frustrating experience at work. His story "Found" is featured in the new book from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series titled "Finding My Faith" (Chicken Soup for the Soul, $14.95).
In it, Smith, a member of the Flint Meadows Ward in the Kaysville Utah Stake, has trouble finding essential parts needed to build a bridge crane. After searching over and over again for the misplaced parts, which were planned to ship in two days, Smith did the only thing he felt was left to do: pray.
"My story refers not so much to God finding me, but to my finding him," Smith said. "Much as the tools I sought, which were always before my eyes, God was always there in plain sight. I had just forgotten how to see him."
Praying helped him remember.
"I don't know that this specific experience in prayer increased my faith as much as it opened my eyes more to the small things wherein prayer gets answered every day," he says. "I'm not sure amazing experiences build our faith as much as they give us encouragement to continue trying."
Through prayer, Smith says people will be able to see that God is always with them.
"I would encourage others to start looking rather than waiting for him to suddenly appear. There is power in the scriptural admonition to ask, knock and seek. I believe we will find that he is constantly near us in the good times and especially in the difficult moments," said Smith.
The key is to never give up, Smith says. Pray with faith, he believes, and good things are bound to result eventually.
"I believe God answers every prayer — sometimes in the moment of need, sometimes in his due time and sometimes when we see it not at all," Smith said. "The hope is that we will learn to see his hand in even the small things of our daily lives."
Smith is the past president for the League of Utah Writers. He has had several columns published in the Deseret News. He currently resides in West Bountiful and enjoys golfing, fly-fishing, writing and spending time with his family.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith" includes 101 inspirational stories about healing, wisdom, joy and God's love. The book can be purchased online at www.chickensoup.com or at popular bookstores such as Barnes & Noble.
Kylie Lewis is an intern for the Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications.