While serving as the Jordan River Ward Relief Society President, we chose to have themes each year to build around. Our theme for 2010 was “Seasons & Times.” One lesson I shared with the sisters was on Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. While preparing for that lesson, the Spirit taught me some amazing things. Tying into the “Seasons” theme, we began by discussing wind.
1. In which season does the wind blow? (ALL of them!)
2. How would you describe wind. Considering that when the wind is soft, gentle or low it’s called a breeze, what are some adjectives used to describe “wind”? (High, sharp, whistling, cold, hot, humid, thick, polluted, blustery, gusty, bracing, turbulent, torrent-like, thunderous, angry, brutal, battering, unforgiving, ferocious, whipping)
3. Can wind be seen??? How do we know it’s there? What ‘evidence’ do we have?
4. What causes wind? (Opposition: land/water, mountains/valleys, forests/plains)
Wind requires a certain temperature distribution (hot/cold). Heat rises, so for example:
During the day, warm air over the land rises, pulling cool air in from the sea to replace it, giving a sea breeze during the afternoon and evening.
At night, the roles are reversed: the heat over the sea rises and the cool land air is drawn in to replace the rising air over the sea causing a land breeze.
In the morning, when the sun rises, the tops of the mountain peaks receive first light; and as the day progresses, the mountain slopes take on a greater heat load than the valleys. As the warm air rises off the slopes, cool air moves up out of the valleys to replace it causing a valley breeze.
The opposite effect takes place in the afternoon. As the valley radiates heat and the heat rises, the cool air of the mountain flows into the valley creating a mountain breeze.
Forests are less windy than plains and cities because the trees disrupt wind patterns. Trees have a dampening effect on wind speeds-they bend in the wind. Much of the total energy of the wind is lost in kinetic energy to the trees.
A storm is a violent disturbance of the atmosphere caused by wind, rain, snow, hail, or thunder and lightning. (Note: The wind is NOT a storm, but it can definitely cause a storm or be found in a storm.)
Matt 14 Summary
John the Baptist is beheaded and when Jesus hears of it, he gets into a ship and heads to a ‘desert’ place. When a multitude of people heard this, they followed Him. Jesus has compassion on them and heals their sick. Because there are so many people, and it takes so long, when evening comes, His disciples counsel Him to send them away so they can get food.
Instead, Jesus uses the opportunity to teach His disciples of His power and in fact, performs a miracle by feeding the multitude of 5000+ men, women, and children with only five loaves of bread and two fishes. After they did “all eat and were filled” they took up the leftovers...
Matt 14 - starting in vs. 22 (Jesus tells His disciples to get into the ship and go on ahead of Him; He’ll meet them on the other side. Notice: there is a definite separation between the Savior and His disciples.)
vs. 23-24 - the ship was in the sea tossed with waves for the wind was contrary. (The storm begins...)
vs.25-28 - Fourth Watch - symbolically the "last minute" - (Times of watches: 6-9pm; 9-12am; 12-3am; 3-6am)
vs.29 begins - “And He said, “COME.”
In a Feb. Home Teaching message - Pres. Monson said, “As I have turned to the scriptures for inspiration, a particular word (has) stood out time and time again. The word is ‘Come.’ The Lord said, “Come unto me.” He said, “Come learn of me.” He also said, ‘Come, follow me.’ I like that word, come. My plea is that we would come to the Lord.”
So when we are ‘separated’ from the Lord, it is up to US to ‘come’ unto the Lord. He’s there, knocking on our door or walking on the water with us.
Matt 14 - vs. 29 - PETER WALKED ON THE WATER!!! It doesn’t say he TRIED to walk on the water; or he STEPPED out onto the water, nor does it say how many steps Peter took, but it does say that HE WALKED ON THE WATER!
Is that something Peter did everyday or would this be considered a MIRACLE?
What part of this verse shows Peter exercised his faith in the Savior?
(He was come out of the ship and he walked on the water.) But then what happened?
vs. 30 - We’ve already discussed this... Can you see wind? So how did Peter “(see) the wind boisterous”? The evidence was in the waves. Is the water going to be still where Peter is standing? So what would a wave look like for one to describe the wind boisterous? (Boisterous is blaring, chaotic, loud, riotous, tumultuous, turbulent, wild.)
Not only is the water he’s standing on having this effect, there is no doubt that the water he sees behind the Savior is having the same effect. To me, it’s not that Peter takes his eyes off the Savior, it’s that the waves behind the Savior are so loud, tumultuous, turbulent and wild that Peter can’t help but feel vulnerable, human and incapable of continuing to do something he knows he doesn’t do on a regular basis.
In discussing the season “Spring” and "trying something new" automatically creates insecurity, fear, doubt. Could it be that during this particular experience
Peter doubted his abilities to remain standing on such turbulent waters?
Vs.31 - IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched forth His hand...and caught Him...
v s . 3 2 - the wind ceased. The storm was over.
vs.33 - Testimonies were strengthened.
There are winds and storms of adversity in each of our lives. That is part of mortality. As winds and storms come and go, the key to safety is the Savior.
Christ is referred to as the real “Tree of Life”... That being the case, listen again to the effect trees have on wind:“...trees disrupt wind patterns. Trees have a dampening effect on wind speeds - they bend in the wind. Much of the total energy of wind is lost in kinetic energy to the trees.”
As we become one with the Lord, our confidence will grow! (Prov.3:25-26) We need to take hold of His constantly outstretched hand. We might not be able to go to the temple weekly, or spend hours in the scriptures, but regardless of our season in life, the Lord has provided ways for each of us to “come” unto Him / to be “one” with Him: be it through prayer, scripture study, FHE, going to the temple, or serving others, we can each develop faith in Him.
May we “come” unto Him; may we “learn” of Him; may we “follow” Him; that we may be “one” with Him!