The summer storms have been causing havoc all over our area and I have heard many voice concerns over issues with their gutters. There is always a worry when it comes to flooding, damage from high winds, hail, and fallen trees. I know in my house my husband is on edge every time a major storm rolls through the area. The same was true for the disciples when they were in the boat in today’s Gospel reading (Mark 4: 35-41) and Jesus was asleep. How could he be so calm while their boat was going to fill with water and they would be dumped into a raging sea? Anxiety overtook the disciples and can seize hold of our emotions if we do not have faith.
Jesus calms the sea after the disciples plead with him and even question if he cares at all about their well-being. Despite their fear, Jesus simply asks them why they are afraid and what happened to their faith. The disciples see His Divine power as Jesus brings calm to the sea. It is at this moment that the disciples seem to be jolted into reality about His identity and ask, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
All of us can relate to this scripture, all of us have gone through storms in our lives. It could be one major storm or a series of little ones, coming in succession, one after the other, which wear on our ability to endure hardships. Whatever is causing difficulty in your life, have no fear, Jesus is in the boat with you. He may appear to be asleep but in reality, Jesus is very aware of all that is happening and will not allow you to perish. As St Augustine advises, “We must learn to trust in Christ daily, since He alone can retrain these forces and bring us to the safe harbor of salvation.”
Knowing Jesus is essential but often with our human limitations we need someone, “with skin on ‘em”—to quote my spiritual father, Thomas Acklin O.S.B. The quote is from his book “The Passion of the Lamb” which I have read and reread so many times I’ve lost count. A good father is the voice of calm and reason in the midst of our raging storms. He provides a gentle love which is faithful and enduring through all of the times we are short-sighted, self-focused, and take him for granted. Fathers plant the seed of faith in our hearts (see Being Small) and with tremendous patience (at least with me) guide our steps ever closer to the Lord. How blessed we are to have loving fathers in our lives, how blessed I am to have a spiritual father who has taught me to love with the love of Jesus.
So, the next time a storm rolls into our lives, let us have faith, trust in the Father, and allow His love to calm our fears because His love is everlasting and will be with us always.