Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Why Are You So Fearful?

Alma 34:1 - Alma 36:29

Do the storms of life ever rage against you?

Have you ever faced a situation that seemed out of your power to control?

Do you know what it is to doubt?

Have you ever felt fear?

In those moments, what do you do?

Today I am remembering a story from the New Testament.  It is one you will be familiar with.

The great storm of wind.  The waves that beat.  The ship full of water.  The Savior sleeping on a pillow.

The raging.  The darkness.  The doubt.  The fear.  "Master, carest not that we perish?"  (Mark 4:38)

Then He arose.  And there was peace.  A great calm.  A ceasing of the wind.

And a lesson was taught as he gathered the disciples around.

The disciples.

Men who were living righteously, following Him, living the commandments.

And he asked, "Why are ye so fearful?  How is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40)

Maybe we hear this as a rebuke.

But should we?

Because have you ever had a three year old stumble into your room in the middle of the night shaking from a bad dream.  As you gather them in your arms and wipe the tears from their soft cheeks did you ask, "What are you so afraid of?"

Did you listen to their concerns, the details of what frightened them, and then speak words that would give them courage, strengthen faith, and empower them to move forward?  Did you wonder how is it that ye have no faith in this moment?

Did you help them say a prayer?

Now ask yourself, could there have been concern in the Savior's asking, "Why are ye so fearful?"  What are you scared of?  Does the situation seem out of your control?  Does the problem feel too large for you to conquer on your own?  Help me understand your fear...

Was He about to offer encouragement when he wondered out loud, "how is it that ye have no faith?"

What is it about this moment that has allowed you to replace faith with fear?  Let me help you.  What is it that is keeping you from looking past this? 

Was H really asking the disciples to focus their eyes away from the storm?  Focus on me.  Find faith in me.

I wonder, does this same lesson apply to my own life?

I want to be a disciple.  I try to live righteously, follow the Lord, keep the commandments.

Still, I see the storm raging around me.  I feel it.  The darkness.  Some days the doubt.  Some nights the fear.

Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that the Lord is right here in the boat.  Aware of the storm, the darkness, even the doubt.

Right here waiting for me to cry out...Master.

In that moment when I cry unto Him will He gently ask, "Why are you so fearful?  What is it that you so afraid of?"

What if I were to list my fears on a piece of paper ––what if I took the time to really answer the Lord's question...

Why are you so fearful?

Could I spell out the storm that rages within, the chaos that I wish would turn to calm?

Sometimes it is easier to write down the words we don't want to say outloud.

But the important part of the lesson is asking the second question...how is it that ye have no faith in this moment? 

What is it that is keeping you from looking past this?  

In my mind's eye I can almost picture the conversation that took place on that afternoon...Set aside the fear.  Focus on me.  Find faith in me.  Together, what could you and I do to conquer your fear.

Together.

Just like the disciples, we must remember "what manner of man" He is.  (Mark 4:41)

Mighty.

Mightier than any storm we will face.

Alma testifies of this truth:

"Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase. But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you."  (Alma 34:18-27)

Set aside the fear.

Let me help you.

Take your eyes away from the storm.

Find faith in me.  Focus on me.

If you are fearful, cry unto Him continually,

for He is mighty to save.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Freeman