Jesus Calms All Storms

Matthew 8: 23-27
Gen 19:15-29 / Psa 26

You of little faith, why are you so afraid?
(Matthew 8:25)

Be firm of faith in Jesus Christ
Who keeps us safe from storms in life;
May confidence in Him reside
To calm all troubles, fears & strife.

Then Jesus got into a boat and His disciples followed Him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)

Reflection

The disciples had seen all the wonders that Jesus had performed, and so they must have believed that the Lord sleeping soundly in the stern would keep them safe from all harm. However, the raging storm and their fear of drowning overcame their little faith, and so they went and woke Him up. And before He rebuked the waves and the winds to calm down, Jesus first rebuked the disciples for their little faith.

Faith in God’s protection is a wonderful thing, especially if we believe in God’s promises that we read in the bible: “I rescue all who cling to Me; I protect whoever knows My name. All who call on Me I answer; I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honor, and give them life, long and full…” (Psa 91:14-15). But there are times when our faith in God’s love and protection can be put to the test when we are at the mercy of the unpredictable forces of nature. This happened to us when my wife, sister and I boarded a small banca with outrigger one late afternoon to cross the Davao Gulf channel from Talikud island. The swells in the middle of the channel had suddenly grown larger, and threatened to overcome our small vessel. The next fifteen minutes seemed like an hour, as our banca operator deftly negotiated the waves to reach the other side. I put up a brave front for the benefit of my sister and my wife (whose fingernails must have left their marks on the boat’s spar). All the while I silently prayed the verses of Psalm 91. While the turbulence raged without, the struggle of faith and doubt also raged within. Only later did I realize that my faith was still a work in progress, but had become stronger after that experience. In the air or out at sea, we are totally helpless when turbulence comes. It is only during these times that we realize our complete dependence on God, and the importance of prayer. It is also during such fearful moments that we come face to face with our mortality, and we wonder how prepared we are to meet our Maker. If we have loved enough, then whatever happens we are at peace, because love drives out all fears.

Aside from the fear of sudden death, there are many other kinds of storms that can come unavoidably in our life without warning. But as disciples of Christ, we believe that God will never allow them to happen if they will only break our will and bring us to despair. St. Paul assured us that “In all these things, we shall conquer through Him Who loved us” (Rom.8:37). Remember, God never sleeps. He is ever present in our greatest needs, and has arranged a greater purpose for our troubles and/or predicaments.

Dear God, we ask for Your strength and fortitude to be given to those who are suffering from the tempests of life. We also pray for Your mercy and generosity to be given to those who have the resources to help, so that a greater good will come out of the tempests in life. Amen.

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