I love boating. Sailing along the water looking at things from a boats viewpoint is interesting. Our Lord used a boat more than once with his followers and probably walked in a storm or two. Although storms aren’t new to any of us, some can be pretty scary. I’m thankful to not recall being in a boat during a big storm. I can only imagine the fear of capsizing.
Matthew 8:23-27. 23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
If I think of life as a boat, Lord, there is great comfort in knowing you are in it with me. These men were fishermen and used to the water and storms. Yet they were afraid; terrified even. They woke you – which is astonishing to think that you could be asleep during such an storm. So in my life, when depression or loneliness sets in for me Lord; when joys disappear and trials heighten; when my prayers seem dry and unanswered and the storm of emotions, events or issues crowd in on me, I can relate to these men in wondering, how could you be sleeping through it all? Where are you in these moments? How is it that I feel alone, abandoned and under attack from the evil one if you are in my boat, my life? I trust you to be there. So why am I afraid of your silence?
You, the King of all the world, creator of wind and sea, of all creation, you know all these things, you see us and watch us. Remain here with me, and Be not afraid you have told us. That’s a trust issue Lord, and it’s something still being worked on. I want to not question but lean in on you more when they come. Unfortunately, my weak faith can get hung up on what is happening instead of who has it. I admit, it is far too big a mystery for my mind to understand why one person is affected and another not. A friend has been battling shingles and recently fell and broke her ankle requiring surgery. Another just lost her husband to dementia and a third is watching dementia steal her husband away, the man who was so strong, now becoming weak. You know all this, you see these storms. This pandemic set into motion many storms – financial insecurities, absence of the sacraments, fellowship, work, routines, education, justice and safety. The list could go on – but I feel like I’m preaching to the choir. I have to choose, to remember, you are in these trials with us, as you were in that boat long ago. You commanded the wind and waves to be still. You renounced them.
In working on my trust issues, today I choose to acknowledge that you are already renouncing these trials. For reasons I may never know, they occurred. But I also believe you are asking us to grow in and through them. There is always something to grasp and learn although I may not recognize it for a long time, if ever. But the truth is you can make good from any bad. Your grace will not leave me in the storm; I only have to endure it and carry this cross for a period of time. During the storm I can lean in closely and know, you are God. You love me and know my needs. You will not leave me, but save me. Help me always to keep my eyes on you, instead of the storm.