Quiet! Be still!
With these words, Jesus calmed the storm that was threatening the Apostles as their boats were being tossed about and filled with water. It must have been a fierce storm since it frightened these men, many of whom made their living on the sea. They were afraid enough to wake Jesus, who was asleep in the boat. They needed him to be present to them in their panic and fear.
Certainly, Jesus can calm the worst storms in our lives as well. What are those storms? Do we struggle in our relationships? Perhaps our storms are connected to physical or financial difficulties. Maybe we wrestle with our faith or are challenged by anxiety or depression. How wonderful that Jesus can calm all those storms. He is there for us with his peace if we just turn our fears over to him. Just as he quieted the winds and silenced the waves, he can bring comfort to us.
As the disciples witnessed this miracle on the sea, they were struck with awe and wonder.
Who then is this, they ask, whom even wind and sea obey?
They were still learning who Jesus was, and the might of his power. Even though they followed him daily, listening to his words and witnessing his miracles, they were still uncertain.
Jesus rebukes them a little when he asks them, Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?
The truth is that in our journey to the Father, we are still learning who Jesus is as well.
It is often a big leap to go from the Jesus we read about or hear in the Gospels, to the Jesus who lives fully in our hearts. There is a difference between knowing Jesus intellectually and fully becoming one with him. As in any relationship that we want to nurture and deepen, our love and closeness will grow as we get to know each other better. This requires spending time together – listening and watching and learning.
In order to grow our faith, we need to deepen our relationship with Jesus – to spend time with him daily, and include him in our thoughts and decisions, through prayer.
We can read the Gospels and spend time with others who also believe in him so we can learn from their experience. This is a lived faith. For Jesus to be in our hearts, we must invite him in and then nourish that relationship daily. We can survive the storms in our life with his help.
In loving Jesus, the storms with which we live will be calmed, and our faith will grow stronger. Let us strive for such a love of our Lord.