Simple Truths: God IS in your storm
Here is a simple truth; because the wind is against you it does not mean that God is not for you. Sadly many have come to believe that blessings are the only sign that God is pleased with us. While I get the sentimental belief that prevails I do believe that such beliefs are far from the Christian faith.
God is also in the storm and the Gospels tell us that. When the apostles were battling the waves (Matthew 14:24) they seemed to be alone for the Lord was not in their boat. Scripture tells us that Jesus came walking to them “early in the morning” while they struggled through the night.
When plagued with the tempests, the night seems to never end and it is in these moments that most Christians feel deserted and abandoned in their faith. We question our beliefs, we question God! Where is God? That is the question that tops the charts in our mind. Why won’t He come now to rescue us? Why does He wait to make an early morning dramatic entrance when any sign of His presence would soothe me in my storm?
The simple truth is that God never abandoned us in our storm. A careful reading of Matthew 14: 22-32 tells us that while the disciples battled the wind and the waves Jesus was by himself, up in the mountains that overlooked the Sea of Galilee, PRAYING the whole night, obviously for them. The Lord had his eye fixed on them in their storm.
So I ask the reader to question what they have come to believe; is God merely a God of good things? Why have we come to believe that Christian life is a bed of roses? Being a Christian does not mean we are insulated from the storms of life, it means that in the storms we continue to find the master of the storm.
When Jesus gave us the gift of peace at His resurrection it did not come with a warranty certificate for one year. The gift of peace was a lifetime guarantee of His presence. This peace however, is not the absence of conflict in our lives. ‘Shalom’ is not the absence of war or strife; it’s simply a guarantee of His presence in the midst of our storm.
For the last couple of years and in particular these past few days, the Catholic Church finds its self in the storm of the child sex abuse scandal. This is not God’s doing but that of fallen humanity and in particular the clergy. The Church is Christ’s mystical body and in that sense the Church has not failed or made a mistake; it’s the human elements in it that have failed Christ.
Many Catholics have gone through more than just a phase of being embarrassed. That feeling has rightly given way to anger. The question that pops up in our minds is when will this storm end and where is God? Why is He not protecting His Church?
I believe that God is in communion with our feelings of shame and in our struggle as a faith community. While we sort out the mess the clergy has got us into, He continues to pray for His Church while the Holy Spirit renews the Church. I believe He will once again walk on water for us BUT when he does so it will be ‘at dawn’; till then we battle the waves and the wind.
Fr Warner D’Souza