In the eighth chapter of the book of Luke, we find several stories. One of the stories is that of Jesus and His apostles were on sailing on a lake, when a mighty storm came through. While the apostles were scared and frightened because of the storm, they found that their Leader, was asleep aboard the ship. “And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.” (Luke 8:24)
What makes the tale memorable for me is what follows this event, and the Savior handles the remaining of the situation. Looking at His chosen apostles, who are to assist Him in carrying out His gospel and love, it is fair to say that Christ is disappointed in them. “And he said unto them, Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25)
Even though it would be far from the last, this event would become one of the most important lessons the Savior would teach his disciples during His time on earth. Its interesting, and imperative to note, that as time goes along, and Christ and His disciples teach and convert people throughout the land, the Savior still continues to teach those He has chosen. A simple question He asks them, “where is your faith?” In my interpretation of this sequence, He might have also said, “do you really think I was going to let you drowned? And even if I did, do you not have faith in that which I have taught you?”
For us, even though we can obviously see where the Lord is coming from, imagine yourself in that situation. When the water suddenly begins to fill the boat, would we also lose faith, and begin to ask where our Lord is? Would we quickly forget the eternal plan that the Savior has for us? In the book of John it clearly says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” (John 14:27). It doesn’t make exceptions, the Savior never wants us to fear, He wants our absolute trust, our faith.
When I was serving my mission, I encountered several frightening situations. In two consecutive weeks, a tornado touched down in or near my area. The second storm, came very close to where my companion and I lived. I’ll never forget the night as long as I live. We were having dinner at a member’s house, when all of a sudden we were notified from our mission president to return home because a tornado was coming towards us. Responding relatively slow to his text, we continued to eat at the member’s home, and enjoy the night, even though we could see dark clouds in the sky outside the window. When it came time to depart, torrential rain, high winds, along with loud claps of lighting was the scene we walked out to. Though the members urged us to stay inside their home, we told them we’d be fine, knowing that our house was less than five minutes away.
Running to our car, we were immediately drenched in water. As I got into the drivers seat, I told my companion that there was no way I could drive us home due to my bad vision, and asked if he would. Being a little braver than I, he hopped in to drive the car, and began back home. During that drive, it was clear that the tornado couldn’t be far from where we were, and to me it was one of the most terrifying scenes I’d ever witnessed. Driving through water, and seeing the destruction that mother nature could offer up, in that moment my faith had completely eluded me. I was almost one hundred percent that something bad was going to happen in that drive, especially when another member, who happened to be our neighbor, called us and yelled at my companion and I that we weren’t home yet.
Once we were back at our apartment, coming to the conclusion we were safe, I started to realize how cowardly I had shown myself that night. In those minutes in the car, it was clear that my faith wasn’t sufficient for that situation. Interestingly enough, the next morning during my personal study, I came across this account in Luke, and felt embarrassed, and read those scriptures as if the Lord was asking me, “Elder Thomas, where was your faith?”
In a popular Mormon Message, President Russell M. Nelson tells of a story when he was on a plane that almost turned deadly. While in the air, the aircraft’s engine exploded, sending the plane spiraling down to the earth. In that moment, President Nelson recalled seeing a woman who was in obvious fear and in tears, coming to the realization that her life was about to be over. In his own words regarding the situation, “I was calm, I was totally calm, even though I knew I was going to my death. I was ready to meet my maker.” The flight made a miraculous recovery at the last second, and landed safely in the field. “If you’ve got faith, you can handle difficulties, knowing with an eternal perspective that all will be well,” said President Nelson in what he learned from the experience.
How do we obtain faith such as President Nelson, or other noble men and women, who have learned to trust the Savior. In order to secure that trusting in the Lord, we must live in the way that He wants us to live. Living as He lives, gives us hope for the life after this life. As we go through our day to day lives, and do what we’re supposed to spiritually, we can obtain the faith of living with our families after this life, no matter how it ends.
I have a testimony of faith, even more so a knowledge that my faith continues to grow. I want to live my Heavenly Father and Savior, and also my family after this life. I testify that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, so that we can overcome our challenges, and by doing so increase our faith through those challenges. I testify that the Savior knows you, that He watches you, and will never leave you. I add my testimony to this scripture that I will close with, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you,” (John 14:18). He will come to us, as we come to Him.