The cold, tired men cried out in fear, believing they were seeing a spirit come to harm them. “Be of good cheer,” Jesus said, “it is I; be not afraid.”
The disciples had left Jesus on the shore hours earlier. They had just seen Him feed thousands of people from a handful of fish and bread, a miracle they’d witnessed firsthand. But could this being, this person seemingly defying even the elements, really be Him?
Wanting assurance, Peter asked Jesus to let him join Him on the water. Peter stepped out of the boat and started to walk. The impossible was really happening.
“But when he saw the wind boisterous,” the scriptures say, “he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”
Many of us today, more than two millennia later, feel like we’re metaphorically in the same boat as Peter. We know we are surrounded by more wisdom, more riches, more opportunity than any other generation has ever seen. But when the “wind boisterous” howls and demands our attention, sometimes it feels like all we can do is sink into the sea.
This is where faith and the power of agency come into play. As the cold water surrounds us and we feel the only way to go is down, we have to remember the reality of the Savior’s saving power and choose to ask Him to rescue us. Though Satan uses the chaos of these last days to try to convince us there’s no hope, the truth is that Jesus Christ goes “before your face,” being “on your right hand and your left,” with His angels surrounding you to hold you up (D&C 84:88).
“All of us need to be more than vigilant in choosing what thoughts we allow ourselves to embrace.”
With the overbearing weight of the Covid19 virus engulfing the world, and frightening headlines and news programs shouting “doom” at us, we could easily become afraid and sink as the “boisterous” winds of uncertainty swirl around us. All of us need to be more than vigilant in choosing what thoughts we allow ourselves to embrace.
President George Q. Cannon reminded us, “Whenever darkness fills our minds, we may know that we are not possessed of the Spirit of God…When we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are filled with joy, with peace and with happiness no matter what our circumstances may be.”
“We have the power to choose the mental programming we want to obey, so when we replace fearful, harmful thoughts with good, light and joy…peace and comfort will naturally follow. ”
We have the power to choose the mental programming we want to obey, so when we replace fearful, harmful thoughts with good, light, and joy…peace and comfort will naturally follow. As we curate our minds to be peaceful places, we will have safe places in which to live while the storms whirl around us.
So this week, take a few minutes and write down those ideas, things, events, memories or other happy and peaceful experiences that you have had. Draw upon them and use them to replace any negative or dark feelings that can creep up on us.
Remember that when Peter cried out in fear, the Savior’s response was immediate. If you find yourself having dark, brooding and depressing thoughts, with the challenges you face, remember, you are not made to live in fear and the Savior stretches His hand toward you. This week have in your awareness how He reaches out for you, look for those moments of insight and let His peace enter you.