By Alexander B.
In this voyage we call life, with all of its stresses, trials, and hardships; it can be easy to ask questions such as “Why is this happening? Who can truly understand me? Where can I find peace?” These questions can be even more difficult to answer when we learn about a God who is our loving Father in Heaven, and supposedly behind all of this. Then our questions may change to: “Why is God letting this happen to me? I know God understands, so why is He not making this easier? I’m doing what God asked–why is He not keeping His promises?” These types of questions can severely damage faith and trust in our Father in Heaven. I found myself asking these questions only a few months ago.
My Uncle Kyle was suffering from some unknown medical malady. Despite the gravity of his condition, he was always an example of a positive attitude, kindness, and strength to those he came in contact with. Maybe that, coupled with his relative youth, caused the shock I experienced when I learned, via a weekly email, that he had passed away. I found myself asking the questions I mentioned above, and many others.
In my grieving process, I went to a chapel and started praying, unloading my sorrows and frustrations on the Lord in prayer. I needed answers. I felt prompted to open a hymn book. I did so and read these words:
“Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace When other sources cease to make me whole? When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, I draw myself apart, searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, Where, in my need to know, where can I run? Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish? Who, who can understand?”
I wept when I read these questions; for they were the exact ones I had in my mind and heart. I felt an overwhelming sense of love and peace as I continued reading and rediscovered the answer I had known since youth:
“He, only One. He answers privately, Reaches my reaching In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend. Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching. Constant he is and kind, Love without end.”
Through heartfelt and sincere prayer, God helped me to remember the big picture and gave me the strength to continue. All I had to do was obey His repeated counsel to call to Him.
As I have exercised my faith and striven to obey His words, He has strengthened me to make it through the unknown waves of life. Though at times I have felt like a ship, tossed about, broken, and aimlessly wandering, the guiding lighthouse of God’s love and mercy has always been available. Too easily and too often on our voyages, we become distraught when problems arise–a frayed rope, a torn sail, splintering masts, leaks in the hull, and many others–forgetting to look for His light, guiding us safely home.
Doing His will, living His gospel, and striving to emulate His example each and every day enables me to use my previous trials as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. It helps me to keep an eternal perspective, and to remember the lessons I’ve learned and the person I’ve become as a result of my previous trials, even in the midst of my current days of difficulty or despair. God is always faithful, and never flees nor fails us.