BETA

Refuge from the storm

Often we feel that our pressures and problems in life are almost more than we can bear. Some problems are seemingly overwhelming, and our tears may only bring temporary relief.

Frequently, we are weighted down because of poor health or inadequate finances, or have concerned feelings about children gone astray or troubled relationships with family members or friends. Sometimes we may feel burdened because of job responsibilities or school pressures, and often we are heavy laden because of wrong choices we may have made.And today, thousands of Latter-day Saints and their families are feeling the heavy burden of war, as they are caught up in the terrible fighting in the Persian Gulf or waiting anxiously at home, with fear and apprehension, for the conflict to be resolved and have their military men and women return safely home.

But no matter what the reason for the burdens of life that may be bearing down on us, there is refuge from the storm where we can find comfort and gain renewed strength.

That refuge lies in our relationship with our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-29.)

We may think how great it would have been to have walked with Jesus when He was upon the earth, and to have shared our burdens with Him and felt of His love. Such would have surely lifted us and we would have felt rest unto our souls.

If only we could have been with Him, we may feel, to have heard His sermons and witnessed His miracles. How marvelous it would have been. Jesus was the Master Physician. He healed the sick, caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear, cleansed the leper and raised the dead. But he also calmed troubled souls.

Just as the Master brought a calmness to the turbulent waters when a great storm arose as He was crossing the Sea of Galilee (see Mark 4:36-39), He could have also brought a calmness to our lives and comforted our fears.

The phrase, "Peace, be still," that He uttered nearly 2,000 years ago in calming the storm-tossed sea can also apply to His calming influence in our lives as we are being buffeted by life's storms.

We don't have to actually walk with Jesus in person or witness firsthand the life and ministry of the Savior to feel of His influence and love in our lives. We can do that by how we live, by having His Spirit in our hearts and His teachings in our lives. As we go through the storms of life, our closeness to the Lord will, in a large measure, determine the peace and comfort and renewed strength that we feel.

No one said this life would be easy and there wouldn't be storms along the way. But the answer in meeting today's pressures and problems - albeit perhaps they may be the greatest ever - is the same as always: Love the Lord and draw close to Him; seek for His Spirit and keep His commandments; have a deep and abiding faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world.

Since the beginning of time, there have been wars and rumors of war, famines and earthquakes, pestilences and plagues, disease and dying, pressures and problems. But in spite of all the heartaches that may be thrust upon mankind, peace can come to the hearts of each of us as we follow the life and pattern of the Savior.

His was the greatest life that's ever been lived. He was the Master Teacher. He taught us how to model our lives after His. He taught us to put our efforts in those things that matter most. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33.)

If we will do that, then our foundation is centered in Christ. When the winds and rains of life come, we will find comfort.

Jesus taught us where to find the inner peace that we are all seeking.

"Come unto me . . . and I will give you rest." What a glorious promise for peace from within, in a world where there is little peace from without.

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