“He got into a boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?’ Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.”Matthew 8:23-26
The sea of Galilee is known for sudden storms. It’s a small body of water, sits below sea level, and is surrounded by mountains. Storms are inherent of its geographical characteristics. I’m certain the disciples were use to storms and therefore typically prepared for them.
Years ago, I watched the TV series “Deadliest Catch.” These fishermen don’t wonder whether they run into a storm, they anticipate it. Their concerns rest more on the condition of the vessel than the storm.
Imagine, you are about to go fishing in the Sea of Galilee and you anticipate a fierce storm. You ensure the boat you are taking out to sea is sturdy. The material it is made from is strong, not broken and can withstand the storm. You also make sure that you have the means to bale any holding water, either by design or effort. If the boat remains intact and doesn’t retain water, you know you will return to shore safely.
Apply this thought to your spiritual life. Let’s imagine that the vessel you prepare to go out to sea is your faith. You don’t wonder if you will journey through a storm. You know you will pass through a storm along your journey. You fortify your faith on the written Word, on trust in God’s will, and the love of Jesus. These three items strengthen the vessel and provide the means to bale any standing water. Every time you venture through the storms on the journey, you know you will return unharmed.
A little different spin!
What is the first thing Jesus says to the disciples? “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” (Mt 8:26) The disciples probably knew they would pass through a storm. They literally had Jesus, totally present with them in the flesh. Why were they afraid? Did they lack faith, trust in Jesus’ love and God’s will for them?
Is this where our fear comes from when we are in the midst of a storm?
I invite you to reflect on one of those storms in your life. How sturdy was the vessel, your faith holding God’s presence within you? Is there anything you can do differently to prepare the vessel for the next storm?