Faith Against Storms

Matthew 8: 23-27
Am 3:1-8;4:11-12 / Psa 5

You of little faith, why are you so afraid?
(Matthew 8:26)

Be firm of faith in Jesus Christ
Who keeps us safe from storms in life;
Let confidence in Him arise,
And be calm in all kinds of strife.

Then Jesus got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Suddenly 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

It is this time of the year (monsoon) when we can expect typhoons and the resulting floods batter our country once again. Just a few days ago, a tropical depression flooded many parts of Luzon, affecting thousands of families, destroying crops and livestock, and damaging infrastructure facilities worth tens of millions. The rains have not even stopped when yet another tropical depression east of the country has been spotted, and may intensify into a storm in the next few days.

For those of us who are living in the northern and central parts of the country, they have probably become inured to the occurrence of nature’s most common destructive forces. We can only hope that the government agencies concerned can find effective ways of alleviating the miserable consequences that these weather conditions inflict on our people, aside from disrupting the education of grade school students by providing typhoon victims temporary shelter in classrooms. The question then arises: how do we prepare ourselves for these sudden natural occurrences? The apostles who were in the boat with Jesus knew He possessed special powers, so they turned to Him to save them. In the same way, when disasters like typhoons and floods come to threaten our lives and properties, our only recourse is to turn to God in prayers.

Storms may be unavoidable events in life that come without warning, but for us in the renewal, we believe that God would not allow them to happen if they would only break our will and drown us in despair. Our faith tells us that if this is one way of carrying our cross to follow our Lord, then we must be on the right path. Besides, “In all these things, we shall conquer through Him Who loved us” (Rom.8:37). 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. I answer everyone who invokes me; I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honor, and give them life long and full, and show them how I can save.” (Psa 91:14-15). This is one effective prayer that we can resort to as an added preparation and protection when the storms are upon us.

For us who are far from the path of storms, let us not merely pray and be grateful. More importantly, let the passage of every storm stir up our deepest sentiments of mercy and generosity, so that our contributions of aid will foster love and hope in the affected areas, and bring us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ to Whom we also run for help in times of trouble in our own lives.

Dear God, we ask for Your strength and fortitude to be given to those who are suffering from the devastation caused by the recent typhoon, particularly in Central Luzon. 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 this tragedy. Amen.

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