I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As such, I count myself as a follower of Christ. His invitation, "Come, follow me" (Luke 18:22) has changed the way I live my life. In my efforts to follow Him, I strive to be like Him.
But sometimes I fall short.
I find myself prideful and contentious instead of patient and compassionate. Instead of charity, love, and time, I give excuses. Sometimes, I fall short. Maybe that sometimes is now.
Despite the fact that we all fall short sometimes, I feel horrible. Honestly, I feel legitimately miserable. I feel as if I've been left, abandoned. When I think about what's ahead of me, I realize that I can't do any of it. Not by myself.
This past Sunday, I was reminded of the story of when Christ calmed the storm.
He had beckoned to His disciples, "Come, follow me." And they did, onto the ship and the water.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (Mark 4:37)As experienced fishermen, the disciples knew what they were doing. They knew how to handle a boat, and how to weather winds upon the sea. Yet now, despite their experience, their human strength was not an equal match to the winds that tossed the boat. I can imagine the disciples looking at the sleeping form of their Master, and wondering, "How will we survive this storm? Why has He left us alone?"
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? (Mark 4:38)And sometimes, it may feel to us as if we have been left completely alone. As if the tasks before us are so daunting, so difficult that they are impossible. As if the Savior sleepeth.
Upon awakening, what words did He speak? "Peace, be still." (Mark 4:39)
With His disciples, I ask, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41) Why do I so often forget of His power, and limit my understanding and abilities to that which I can do alone? The Savior did not leave His disciples alone. They just had a limited perspective, they did not know. But He did.
He knew of His power, of his abilities to calm the winds and the waves. He knew He could perform a miracle.
He does not leave me alone. I simply do not see what He can see; If I trust in Him, I will witness a miracle.
President Thomas S. Monson once said, "Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."
It's true! Without my Savior's aid, I cannot do what I may need or want to do. It will be hard for me to be compassionate, charitable, giving, patient, diligent, and strong. At times, it will be difficult for me to be optimistic, caring, dependable, forgiving, and firm.
But with Him and through Him, I can.
For, "when you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed." (Thomas S. Monson, BYU Devotional 11/1/11)
And I am a follower of Christ.