Whenever I hear the story of Jesus calming the storm, I think about the Dauphin Island Regatta in April of 2017. On that fateful day a massive storm cell sprang up, causing nine boats to capsize and resulting in the loss of six lives. For any one of us who has been out in the water along the Gulf Coast, this is the worst possible nightmare. Well in today’s Gospel, we find Jesus and the disciples in a similar storm situation. We see a clear example Of Jesus’s humanity as He wants to get away from the crowds of people who have been coming to see Him. He tells the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee by boat to get to a quieter spot on the other side. He then falls asleep in exhaustion. The storm began to toss the boat around. Now keep in mind that most of His disciples were fishermen. They had been out in storms before and knew what to do when things got bad. Mark’s Gospel tells us that they began to panic as the water breached the sides of the boat. By Mark’s account, this was a very dangerous storm. So, in desperation they woke Jesus, pleading with Him to save their lives.

You know, in Biblical times, a large body of water was considered mysterious and powerful. All who worked the sea for their livelihood appreciated the accompanying danger. When Jesus stretched out his hand and calmed the waves, the men asked one another “Who could do this? Who could command the wind and the sea?” The answer, of course, is GOD. Only God could calm the wind and the sea.

You know, our human lives are like a boat adrift on the water. The outside world is the water that surrounds us. At times it is nice and calm. Everything is going along great. But at other times it can become complicated and even menacing. So what happens when life’s storms come up out of nowhere? Everyday life storms such as sickness, job loss, marriage problems, and even the death of a loved one can knock us down. But if Jesus could rescue the disciples from the raging sea, He can help us overcome our problems. The necessary thing is trust and faith. There is a powerful scene in Season 3 of the “Chosen”, loosely based on the Gospel of Matthew, in which the disciples are caught in a storm while on a boat. They see Jesus walking toward them on the water as the waves are raging around them. In their agitation, they think that they are seeing a ghost. But then Simon Peter recognizes that it is Jesus. He asks Jesus to command him to get out of the boat and walk toward Him. Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Do you know why I allow trials and tribulations to befall you? They are meant to strengthen your faith. Prove the genuineness of your faith and walk to me. Do not be afraid. Keep your eyes on me.” Jesus stretched out His hand, indicating that Peter was to come. Amazingly, Peter walks on the water toward Christ until the point that, feeling the violence of the wind and the waves, he looks down and begins to sink. “Keep your eyes on me.” That is the key message, isn’t it? When we keep our eyes on Christ and have faith in His plan, we can overcome any trials or storms in our lives.

You know, it is easy to give up and feel defeated when bad things happen in life. Often, there is no explanation our problems and it requires a great deal of faith to overcome them. Jesus never promised that our lives would be smooth sailing. But He assured us that He would be there for us no matter how bad the storm.