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Finding Jesus In The Storm

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. (Matthew 14:22)

You are probably familiar with the story of St. Peter getting out of the boat and walking (briefly) on the water. Responding to the call of Jesus, the fisherman turned Apostle did something that should have been impossible. It’s a dramatic and powerful saga that most of us have heard many times.

What often gets missed in this story, however, is the verse at the top of page. Take note that Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and sent them right into a storm. He literally “set them up” without warning them of what they would be facing. I know it sounds nasty, but it ended up being a great blessing. Although Peter’s faith certainly faltered (as evidenced by the panic that set in when he felt the wind and saw the waves), he learned that Jesus was present, even in the midst of the storm. He also discovered that ALL things (even walking on water or calming the sea) are possible for the Lord. Matthew ends this story by stating that everyone in the boat worshiped Jesus and acknowledged that He was the Son of God. Good stuff, right? Now, let me ask you a question. Despite the happy ending, do you think the disciples would have gotten into the boat if they knew that a life threatening storm was waiting for them?

Being a follower of Christ means more than just going to Mass on Sunday and saying some prayers. It involves waking up each day and letting Him lead you. Just like the disciples, He may lead you right into a storm. Sometimes the entire Church is asked to get into the boat and head into stormy seas. The Lord doesn’t necessarily cause the storms, but He does allow them to exist. That’s okay. There is a reason. The fact that we may not understand or approve doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Jesus loves us and is present in the midst of the storm. As long as we keep focused on Him, we’ll be fine. Rather than concentrating on the waves and the wind, keep your eyes on Jesus and borrow the words of St. Peter as he began to sink. It’s one of the most powerful prayers imaginable:

“Lord, save me!”

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