If you have lived more than a few years of life, you know that life has its storms. There are times in our life when things just don’t work the way we would have hoped. Sometimes due to our own miscalculations, and at other times the storms come from circumstances beyond our control, we find ourselves in the midst of serious struggle thinking we may not survive to see the end. We begin to panic.
Such was the situation described in today’s Gospel lesson which you can read below. The Disciples, skilled fishermen and knowledgeable about navigating rough seas, found themselves in a storm they though they would never survive. They panicked, as many of us would. “Save us, O Lord; we are perishing.” The problem was, they weren’t in danger of perishing.
The disciples had forgotten that Christ was able to comfort them, and to protect them. They had been focused on the storm, rather than focusing on Who was with them. “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Christ rebuked their moment of self-pity, not to shame them but to strengthen them.
When you are traveling with God, storms can’t kill you. The storm might get rough. In fact it most likely will get really bad at times, but when you keep you eyes laser focused on Christ, it will never be so bad that you can’t get through it. There is another story of St Peter walking on water. “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14.30-31)
It is always good to remember that Christ never promised a “storm-free life”. What He promised was that, so long as we remained focused on Him, He would always get see us through the storm and be with until the very end. It is only we fall in to a moment of self-pity, and dwell on how much we are struggling, that we forget His protection and begin to sink.
At that time, when Jesus got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, O Lord; we are perishing." 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. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" – Matthew 8.23-27