The calming of the storm:
“…He (Jesus) woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea ‘Quiet now! Be calm! And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’ “Mark 4:39-41 JB
This week, our thought for the week will concentrate on the account of how Jesus, as the Son of God, reveals His mastery over creation as He stills the wind and the waves. Anyone who has been to the Holy Land will tell you that the Sea of Galilee is one of the most magnificent places on earth. The lake itself is a beautiful stretch of water which is a tranquil and quiet place where heaven meets earth in a tangible way. The landscape is stunning and the variations of wildlife, flora and fauna are truly spectacular. It is also a place where violent storms can suddenly erupt and affect the usual tranquillity and calm of the area often without warning and can cause danger for anyone who happens to be out on the water at the time. It was in a storm such as this that Jesus and the Disciples found themselves in our Gospel reading.
What can this story in Mark tells us as we live our lives in the Twenty-First Century? We might begin our lives with calm seas and a stable boat but inevitably there will be times when storms lash against us and threaten not only to rock us – illness, family hurt, breakdown in relationships, unemployment, financial worries, mourning the loss of a loved one – but we may feel that our boat will capsize and we will be in danger of drowning in our sea of hurt, despair, anger and difficulties.
Jesus tells the Disciples and us to have faith – faith in God the Father to take care of us, to protect us and faith in Him to set us free and save us by His mighty power over all our circumstances. Jesus has conquered all and is the victor over everything that our human life and experience could throw at Him – including death. Sometimes having faith like this can be the most difficult thing in the world especially when our storms beset us and we feel like we are going under without hope of rescue!
So how do we do it? Jesus asks us to be obedient and reach out – simply to do this – and He promises to be there to catch us, hold us safely and keep us going when our storms are raging all around us. His Peace is the peace which the world cannot give – the Peace of His Holy Spirit living within us, inside us, as we allow Him to, helps us to be calm in the centre of the storm. Weather analysts and scientists tell us that sometimes the safest place to be is in the ‘eye of the storm’. The Lord tells us to have faith – to trust in His saving power, His Love, His Mercy, His Forgiveness and His Calm when our storms hit us with full force. Only be remaining close to Him in the ‘eye of the storm’ of our lives can He take control and restore His calm to us and His Tranquillity, His Peace.
Are you currently in the ‘eye of the storm’? If you are, how are you going to respond to it?
Our prayer this week.
Dear God, be good to me;
The Sea is so wide,
and my boat is so small. Amen.
The Breton fisherman’s prayer.