Surely at some point in our life, all of us have felt the profound desire to connect with heaven in more meaningful way. Usually in moments of crisis, caused by ourselves, or sometimes by others, our desire to know God and his Son Jesus Christ is magnified and we find ourselves constantly seeking and asking for something more. I am grateful this day that God allows us to come to know His Son as a rescuer and a Redeemer. I have felt his power and love in my own life, and testify of the absolute care and love he has for us. The Apostle Paul proclaims it boldly by stating: For in him we live, and move, and have our being....For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:28) I have felt in moments of deep heartache, this eternal truth. I am grateful that I "might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us" (Acts 17:27).
Only recently have I come to feel of this reality. I am 34 years old, and have never felt the love of my Savior and my Heavenly Father like I have over the past year and half. Perhaps for most of us, if you are like me, this upward pull from heaven comes most readily when faced with challenges in our lives. At times I wonder that if I have learned about the Savior my entire life, why haven't I known the Savior I know now?
The encounter with a stormy sea in the book of Mark opens my eyes to this probing question.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.Christ disciples had seen this very man cast out devils, heal the sick, cleanse a leper, forgive sins, heal a paralytic, and heal a withered hand, yet the question they ask is so interesting. It's almost as if they have no idea of what Christ can do. "What manner of man is this...?" Well, this is a man who performs miracles, he heals, he forgives, he cleanses, what manner of man do you think he is? They have been following him around for sometime now, why haven't they figured it out yet? I think the answer is this. We don't really come to know Jesus and who he is for us, until we come to realize why we need him. These disciples had seen miracle after miracle, but it wasn't until they found themselves in the middle of a stormy sea, fearful for their lives, that they reached out to the Master, wondering if he cared about them. When words of worry or agony of anxiety brings you to the hinder part, even the hidden part of your life, you find the Savior, wondering why you were so fearful. He wonders why so little faith.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
And they feared one another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
When it happens to us, He becomes real. Ezra Taft Benson said something similar,
"Just as a man does not desire food until he is hungry, so he will not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ"I am grateful for challenges. I am grateful God loves me enough to allow my faith to grow during this Race of Life. In the quest for life eternal, the hope is to "know thee the only true God,and Jesus Christ whom thou hath sent. (John 17: 3). Coming to know the Master, is not for silent observers It happens in every condition, in sickness, in health, in poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth. It happens at home, or abroad, on the land, or on the [stormy] sea. But mostly it happens as thy days may demand. And as those demanding days come, we find hidden perhaps in the hinder part of our [relation]ship with Him, that his promise to strengthen thee,help thee,and cause thee to stand, is real. What more can he really say than to you he hath [already] said: "Who unto the Savior, for refuge have fled". May we give thanks for miserable moments, that require heavenly help, in coming to know what manner of man He really is.