Carolyn Billings, director of Sports Medicine, spoke about how to stay with Christ during personal struggles at Tuesday’s BYU Devotional.
As a child, Billings fell out of her bed. Her dad asked how she fell out.
“Obviously I wasn’t in far enough!” said Billings. Throughout Billings’s endeavors, her dad would ask her, “Are you in far enough?”
Unfortunately, life gets harder than falling out of bed. We will all experience affliction, Billings said. She shared how she remained “all in.”
The hymn “Master the Tempest is Raging” explained her feelings during her personal trials: “Master, carest thou not that I perish?”
“Your Savior does care [for] and love you. The Savior will always love you no matter what,” said Billings.
But during our trials or storms of life, we may ask why God doesn’t calm the storm and why does he let us suffer.
“During these moments it is easy to think the Savior is oblivious to our trials. When in fact the reverse is true; it is we who need to be awakened,” Billings said. “It is we that need to turn and find him. It is we that need to continue to follow His teachings. And we who need to ask, ‘am I all the way in?’”
Billings noticed when she felt abandoned by Christ, she had actually turned away from Christ by not praying, reading scriptures or hoping for better times ahead.
“No one is exempt from trials, no matter how righteous a person is being. These trials are meant to change us into more Christlike people.” Billings said that during a trial, it can be hard to believe that Christ will be there for you. Like Laman and Lemuel, believing that God helped Moses escape the Egyptians is easier than believing that God will help you through your trial.
“To be all the way in, you have to believe that his help is available to you now,” Billings said. “Please know you are never truly alone! He will calm the sea for you just as He has done for those that have gone before us.”
Christ often extends help through carrying the burden with us — that’s what it means to be ‘yoked’ to the Savior. When we turn to Christ and believe He will help us, the trial in our life doesn’t seem so crushing.
Christ was a carpenter, so he carved the yolk to fit over you and him.
“He has tailored his yoke perfectly for you to comfortably carry the load thereby fulfilling the promise that his yoke is easy and his burden is light,” said Billings.
During her multiple battles with cancer, Billings learned that no matter her struggle, peace comes as she continued to be all the way in the gospel. She did this by being 100 percent in the gospel through daily prayer, scripture study and service. These simple acts of faith kept her moving forward and yoked with Christ.
Billings referred to Romans 8 , where Paul lists things that make us think God doesn’t love us anymore. Billings said she wrote her own personal struggles next to this verse, such as cancer, being single, sin and shortcomings. Paul testifies that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
“You are stronger than you think. Heavenly Father knows and loves you. If you will make sure that you are all the way in by trusting in the Lord, taking his yoke upon you and following Him then He will make you a conqueror,” said Billings.
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