Like most believers, I have my favorite Scripture passages, some of which I turn to in times of difficulty. One of my go-to passages when things seem especially bad is the "Calming of the Storm," found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41 and Luke: 8:22-25. Years ago, in a class I was taking on the Miracles of Christ, I chose this story to study and write on. I think it was the last line of Luke's version (8:25) which haunted me, "who then is this, that he commands even the wind and water, and they obey him?"
You know the story. Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and were crossing the Sea of Galilee. As they went along, Jesus fell asleep. At some point, a violent storm kicked up, and the boat was filling with water. Terrified of drowning, the disciples woke Jesus up and shouted, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" With the shouts, Jesus woke up, "rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm. (8:24). Jesus then challenged those in the boat with him: "Where is your faith?"
For those of us that have eyes to see and ears to hear, you can sense that we are in a epic storm, one so troublesome that it seems as though centuries have passed since we experienced anything like it. No doubt this storm is not going to quickly pass and many things need to happen before integrity, trust, authenticity and justice have been restored. In the meantime, we are called to weather the storm, knowing that Jesus is in the boat with us, asking, as many cry out in fear, doubt and justified anger, where is your faith?
Over the last twenty centuries, the Church as weathered many storms, more than a few caused by those in authority. Because Jesus remains in our boat, this one too shall pass, but much will need to be done. Our faith is strongest when it's rooted in Christ. I'm reminded of the line found in Psalm 146, "Put no trust in princes, in mere mortals, powerless to save" (v.3). As we do our best to weather this present storm, no matter how long it may last, let's stay rooted in Jesus Christ, the Light and Savior of the world. He's calmed many a storm, and this one we are in now more than likely will not be the last.
Lord, when the storms of life come my way, help me to find you in the midst of them, because I know you are there. You are in all things.
Help me to have more faith, trusting that you have a plan for me, for my family, for my friends, for our Church, and for this world we live in. You are making all things new!
Give me the grace of perseverance, so that one day I might be with you for all eternity, rejoicing at the eternal banquet of heaven. Amen