I haven’t read the Bible in a while, so I decided to start reading it again, starting with the New Testament because I love reading about the Savior’s life. Yesterday, as I was reading in the book of Mark, I came across a wonderful nugget of wisdom. In Mark Chapter 2, verses 15-17, it says:
15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
My message today is about the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. During His time on Earth, Jesus performed many miracles, including healing the blind, curing lepers, and raising people from the dead. While these were great works, they only showed a small portion of His power and authority. His ultimate purpose for coming to Earth and living the life of a mortal man was to perform the Atonement, to suffer and die for our sins and provide a way for us to overcome our shortcomings as imperfect beings. Like the scripture in Mark states, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” As we are all imperfect, we have been called to repentance. I personally find great comfort in the fact that Jesus would sit down to eat and drink with me even though I am a sinner.
My invitation to everyone today is to read the entire chapter of Mark 2 and think about what Jesus Christ has done for you. I testify that He truly did suffer, die, and was resurrected for every one of us. He knows every one of our pains and sorrows because he experienced them. Never forget that while you are going through a difficult trial in your life, Jesus Christ understands what you are going through. Take comfort in His infinite love and know that He wants you to be happy and to be the best that you can be. His hand is always stretched out for us, all we have to do is take it.
If asked what my favorite hobby was, I would say daydreaming. I love to think about far-off places and run through fantastic scenarios normally found in some kind of blockbuster film. It is a pretty great way to kill time when you are bored or to help you fall asleep quickly. Occasionally, this tendency to allow my mind wander leads to the biggest questions of life, such as “What is the point of life?” and “Did I leave the iron on?” Okay, not so much the second question (I am very good about unplugging the iron when I am done!), but questions like the first one have plagued mankind for centuries, especially today. Life is pretty insane when you think about it, especially when you consider that you are only one of billions of people who live on the Earth today. It is no surprise that there are many people who wander about life without a particular direction, changing their heading wherever the wind blows them. What do they daydream about?
I don’t know the answer to that question, not exactly, but I do know that having some kind of anchor in life really helps put stuff into perspective. My own personal anchor is the best one, in my opinion. I choose to anchor my life around the teachings of Jesus Christ and what the LDS church teaches, namely that we are here to improve ourselves and that every single trial we go through, every pain we feel, is merely educational. It is really, really hard to see this during that particular trial, but we can always (but may not choose to) see how some tribulation helped us and made us better. I think that may be where the saying, “hindsight is 20/20” came from.
My invitation today is to get a little introspective. Think for a couple minutes about the hardest trial you have ever gone through and figure out how that trial made you a better person. What did you learn? How did your perspective on life change? My goal is for everyone to say, “Wow that really sucked, but at least I learned something from it.”
If you are curious as to how this perspective helped me through some crazy stuff in my life, check out my profile on mormon.org. Click the word “profile” or the white box with an orange border in the corner of my page. My story is near the bottom of the page 🙂 I will probably make a post about what I learned from that experience in the future, but there is the story.