We had one of the worst snow storms in the upstate in January this year with blustering winds. We had five or six inches of snow. As Jeanne and I sat at our breakfast table, we saw the snow-covered trees bending low from the weight. I wondered why they didn’t break. But I know that through the years as the trees have grown, they have had the winds blow them back and forth and the rains have beat upon them. As a result their limbs have gotten stronger and they can endure the storms.
The storms of life have plagued mankind since Creation so it isn’t some-thing new to us. The older we get the more storms it seems we have to deal with in our lives. Some of those storms or problems are poor health, financial problems, loneliness, and adversity.
Storms or problems come into our lives to test our faith. Are we walking close to the Lord? Some people have said that troubles are the result of sin or a lack of faith on our part. Sometimes our problems help us to look upward to the Lord for help and not inward. They can also strengthen our faith and build character. Our difficulties also give us opportunities to help others that are struggling.
In the Gospel of Luke, you find the account of a storm that occurred on the Sea of Galilee that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was so severe that the disciples were afraid they were going to drown because of the strong winds and high waves. When we feel that we are drowning in our sea of problems, turn to the Lord and He will give us peace.
Sometimes the Lord will still the storm; but sometimes He chooses to bring peace to us rather than to our circumstance. The Lord might calm the outward circumstance or sometimes He might relieve our stress or emotions we hold inside.
Trying to solve our problems is a mistake. The Bible gives us an example. Abram and Sarai had no children and God promised them a son. Many years passed and still no son. When Sarai was past childbearing years, it appeared that God had forgotten his promise. Their problem was they doubted God’s word and because of their lack of faith, they went ahead of God which brought about more problems on themselves.
We shouldn’t run from our problems either. We should face the fact that we make do mistakes. Running away from difficulties never solves it. The wise thing to do is to face them squarely in the face and accept help and then try to solve the situation. Therefore when we as Masons are faced with difficulties of life, we should remember the time we knelt at the altar with our hands on the Great Light of Masonry and look to it for guidance and help.
William B. Rogers