Calming our Storms
by Kathy Penrod
Many times throughout life, we find ourselves facing storms of grand proportions. These may not be literal storms or weather events, but rather storms created through trials and heartache we experience.
Instead of thunder and lighting, we may experience long-term illness or pain. We may feel the sharp cut of betrayal or the heartache of loved-ones lost. Instead of rain and wind we may fight loneliness or emotional unrest.
Most often, these storms we face are not seen by others – no matter how deeply they are felt by us. These storms are lonely battles; fought inside our hearts. These storms can cause us to be unsettled, threaten our peace and, often, make us afraid.
The Savior taught to “Be not afraid, only believe.” But that seems to be the challenge during our personal life storms; to keep perspective and believe that our Savior will come to our rescue.
In the New Testament (see Matthew 14:28-31) we read about one of the most famous miracles performed by our Savior, that of Christ walking upon the water. It is true that walking on the water was a great miracle. But through that miracle He taught us all about the greater miracle.
Knowing His disciples were struggling against the rough sea, Christ went to them. Peter, seeing His Lord, must have felt some great measure of peace, knowing that help had arrived. Without hesitation, He answered the call of the Savior to “Come.”
For a short time, Peter was also able to walk on the top of the swirling water. As long as he kept his focus on the Savior, he did not succumb to the tempest around him. It wasn’t until he took his eyes away from the Savior and focused on the storm that he began to sink.
Certainly panicked and knowing from Whom deliverance would come, he called out in desperation, “Lord, save me.” In an instant, the Lord was there with His open arms and He was able to pull Peter to safety.Though Peter’s faith was not complete and though he began to fall, he still knew Jesus could save him from perishing in the storm he faced. And though his faith may have wavered, it is through his moment of weakness that we are able to learn how to withstand the troubled waters that enter our lives. By focusing on the Savior, we can have the rescue we need.
Keeping our eyes focused on the Savior is the only way through the storms in our lives. When these storms seem overpowering, we, like the disciples of old, may cry out, "Master, carest thou not that we parish?" And yet, if we allow Him, he will respond as He did in that moment, "Peace, be still." (see Mark 4:38-39) If we have faith in His Power, if we believe that He will lend us His strength, we will have our burdens made light until that moment when we can say we are healed.
Elder Jeffrey R Holland says:
“There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that comes unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds a strength, as the hymn says, “beyond [his] own.” The Savior reminds us that He has “graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands.” Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.”
He WILL NOT turn his back on us now. Coming to Him is the only way to find peace and relief. The Savior healed many, many people during his ministry. But first, they had to seek him out. They had to reach out to Him in order to find that healing, that peace, that strength and that respite from the storm.
The Savior wept with those grieving a lost brother, even though He knew He would raise him to life again. He took time to speak tender words of love to the sinner, though her previous choices had caused the current pain. He lovingly taught those who were his disciples how to have more faith, more hope and more peace.
He has felt our pain. He weeps with us. If we allow him, He can ease our burden. When we are weak, he can strengthen us. When we are broken, He can mend us. When we are sick, He can heal us. When we are half, He can make us whole. When there is a storm, He promises calm, so how can we doubt?