Sometimes we need to make a bow and arrow before revelation comes as to where we should search for food. Sometimes we need to make tools before revelations come as to how to build a ship. Sometimes, at the direction of the Lord’s prophet, we need to bake a small cake from the little oil and flour we have to receive an unfailing cruse of oil and barrel of flour. And sometimes we need to “be still and know that [God is] God” and trust in His timing.
Elder Dale G. Renlund, "Abound with Blessings", General Conference, April 2019
This hit me pretty hard when I read it. Most of the time, I think that just being good, and reading the scriptures, and praying, and paying tithing, is sufficient to allow God to guide me.
But He is waiting for a bit more than that.
He is waiting for more work and effort on our part. He wants to see if we will build the bow, or build the tools needed to build a boat. He is waiting for us to apply our own knowledge and effort in making 16 smooth stones for light. Then, He will put forth His finger to light them, even if our knowledge and effort is limited and finite. He doesn't care about how smart or elaborate our ideas are, He only cares that we put in the effort and try.
I can't expect guidance if I am only going through the motions. My Heavenly Father knows my heart. He knows my intentions. He knows my desires. I may be willing on the outside, but only He knows if I am willing on the inside too. He isn't deceived by appearances.
But...even after putting in the work, I need to trust that He will do His part, and trust that He knows best when His part will be done. Sometimes, I need to be still after doing all that I can do. And, that, can be hard to do.