Faith Amidst the Storms


Mark 4: 35-41
2 Sm 12: 1-7, 10-17/ Ps 51: 12-17

Why are you afraid? Do you not yet have faith?
(Mark 4:40)

In every storm we face on earth,
Christ’s in the stern when we leave berth.
Don’t be afraid, or hesitate,
Trials only serve to form our faith.

That day when evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

Reflection

Many of us have experienced such terror once or twice in our lives, riding in a boat or an airplane suddenly caught in turbulent weather. Usually in such situations, our reactions reflect the measure of our faith in God’s protection. The apostles who were with Jesus in that boat were terrified by the storm because of their lack of faith. But when Jesus calmed the storm, all the more they were terrified by His display of incredible power. “Who can this be? Even the wind and sea obey Him!”

At that time the apostles were not aware that Jesus was the master of all creation, and all the forces of nature, the winds, waves, storms and earthquakes obeyed Him. How insignificant the little storms in our daily living must be for God, and yet how subtly He allows them to play their important purposes in our lives. And how quickly they disappear in the power of a quiet prayer.

We are so fortunate here in our beloved city of Davao, where God does not allow violent earthquakes or powerful storms to visit our shores. The people here must have a special place in His heart.

And yet we know we must never be complacent, because peaceful circumstances can suddenly, without warning, turn into catastrophes. There are other storms that threaten the peace and stability of our land, our Church, our community, even our very families. We must never forget the storms of the past. We had seen stable marketplaces suddenly collapse in bankruptcies and bank runs. We had witnessed the ship of our government almost shipwrecked with graft and corruption. We had endured our city being ravaged by armed strife in the ’80s, giving a twisted meaning to the word ‘salvage’. We have seen thousands of families of our overseas workers, drifting in the seas of uncertainty; our youth trapped in the vise of dangerous drugs; little children going hungry in our streets; pornography gone berserk; prostitution, rape, and the moral values of our women almost threatened to sink into the bottom of the ocean of decadence and lust.

Yes, we have witnessed a lot of storms in our lives, but miraculously, we have all survived. Only because God has always been there for us, unseen, like our Saviour Jesus, just sleeping at the boat’s stern. We can only thank our Father, for keeping our lives on an even keel, and for this stable boat that we are in, this BCBP.

Increase our faith and trust in you, Father, that we may walk fearlessly amidst all the turbulences in life, so that others may see that we are Your children. Amen.

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