Calming the Storms…

” On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”* The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
( Mark 4 :35)

One of the most beautiful things about the Gospels is that it is so easy to place ourselves into the story, either as one of the disciples, or one of the people who are in a parable, or even just as an outsider who is sitting there observing what was going on. We can see ourselves in the narrative of what is going on , what we might see, what we might do, or how we might feel if we allow ourselves to be part of the story being told.

In this particular part of the Gospel narrative, we see that Jesus who is exhausted from a long day of teaching and dealing with the crowds of people who came to hear him, now needed to rest. So he gets into the boat.. and sleeps. We know he is exhausted because a boat even on calm days rocks and sways.. and remember Jesus was not a fisherman by trade he was a carpenter, and lived on solid ground.. The storm that grew in intensity, would have not only been wind but rain as well. These boats were fishing boats.. they didn’t have nice cabins for sleeping and relaxation.. they were work vessels. There would not have been any cover there to keep Him dry, but still He slept peacefully.

Most people suffer from exhaustion need time to recover and we can see that possibly the human part of Jesus comes out a bit and He gets a little annoyed from being woken for something that He considers somewhat silly, and the disciples who were standing in mortal fear of drowning in the seas.

In the course of our daily lives we come to certain times when the our own “seas” are turbulent, when we feel as though the waves of our troubles are coming over the bow of our boat, and the winds of our trouble and discontent are blowing greatly against us.

We can feel like our world, our boat, is literally coming apart at the seams. Even for people whom we believe are strong and rock solid in their faith, these times come. It is, in fact, our very human nature that leads us down this road. These times that bring us to stare into the face of our faith, these things that try our patience , and our very souls.

We might not know it yet, but these things that happen in our lives, are the very forge through which our faith is tested, tempered, shaped, and purified. They force us to look into our faith and ask the questions we need to answer, not so much that we need the answers from God, but that we need the answers both from our hearts and souls, from our own faith and understanding, It is through these times that God wields the hammer of Wisdom, the Anvil of the world we are laid against, after the fires of the spirit.

Indeed, even in these times that our lives that seem so trying, God is indeed with us. We do in these times cry our to God like those disciples in the boat, when we think that we are on the verge of coming apart, God is there, to save us, and to work with us, to teach us. Like Jesus woke and calmed the seas, He will not let you drown. He will see you through your own journey. He will make a way for you, and after the storm has passed, He may ask in the depths of your heart, “Where is your faith ?”.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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