Before you ‘just do it’, remember he did it! Tuesday, 13th Week in ordinary time – Matthew 8:23-27
There are moments in our life when we hit rock bottom. I pray, that may not be the situation in your life but such experiences are bound to form the tapestry of our experiences. Such periods are hard to climb out of. They have been brought about by our sheer foolishness, a stroke of misfortune or as we have grown to say, ‘the hand of God.’ Whatever be the situation, moments like these are difficult and challenging to say the least.
Try as hard as we may, but no form of self-help can solve such moments of deep distress. These are moments when we have to awaken the one who is in our boat, or as may be in our case, the one in our home but who has gone to sleep because we have not turned to him.
I am not taking about grandpa who is snoring but Jesus who is asleep in our home. That sounds strange does it not? Jesus asleep in our home? Yes, he is truly asleep in our home and not asleep because he is tired of us; he is asleep in our home because we don’t turn to him, we don’t drive him insane with our constant chatter as we pray. He has fallen asleep in our boat because we have no need of him. Ironically, he has not left our boat, he should have, but did not. He loves us and knows that the moment will come when we will need him.
And then, just like that, the moment of crisis hit us. We find ourselves sinking; the emotional pain too hard to bear, the reality is too daunting to face, the future seems bleak and everything around seem grey and gloomy. What do we do? The answer is simple…wake the Lord up!
Will he be angry with us? Was he angry with the apostles when they woke him? The Gospels do not tell us that Our Lord was miffed that his afternoon siesta was disturbed, yet clearly the Gospels do tell us that they were chided for waking him up. “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” he says to them. Think about it, when we hit rock bottom, when the waves are swamping our boat and we need help we know the one person we ought to go to but we too are afraid for we will be chided; and rightly so!
Taking the Lord’s chiding is better than being drowned in a stormy sea. Jesus does not chide us because he is angry. He chides us because we lost faith in his presence in our lives, because we thought we could manoeuvre this ship of our life through what seemed like the calm waters of the Galilean Sea. Guess what, we were never thought the storm will come and storms do come.
What seems to surprise us the most, is Our Lord asleep in a raging storm. Was he so tired from working three miracles and a long sermon on the Mount that he had fallen into such a deep slumber? Here I am, tossing and turning on an average day when all that was said to me was mere criticism of how I cooked a meal or a stray comment from a relative who is known to be generally unkind. The Lord sleeps because he has cast his care on his Father. He can sleep because no storm can take away his peace. It is for this reason that the chides the twelve, “why are you afraid? Where is your faith?
Interestingly Jesus does not tackle the storm first, he tackles his disciples first. Their faith was more rocked than the boat they were being rocked in by the storm. The storm is easy-peasy, the disciples are going to be tough nuts to crack. Has our Lord not made his point yet? Did he not heal a leper, cure the centurion’s servant with a word and then lay his hand on Peter’s mother-in-law? Apparently, all of this was still not enough for the twelve. They were harder to crack than the storm and by extension so are we!
And when the storm has been rebuked by the Lord, we go back to our old way of living. Our response should have been acts of deep faith, rather we faithfully ask more questions; “what sort of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him?” What an odd question from the twelve when the answer was obvious. It is Our Lord who calms every storm of our life but we foolish delude ourselves that we worked things out. We did not, he did! He who is fully human; human enough to have good sleep is also fully divine, divine enough to rebuke a storm into submission. HE DID IT not I!
…..For your prayer today, read Psalm 130