This was part of the Gospel reading today:
"When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded."
- Mark 6:47-51
- Mark 6:47-51
The part that has always stuck out to me from this story is the big miracle that Jesus walked on water. Maybe it's because my mind doesn't analyze what I read as much as it should, or maybe it's from seeing so many pictures of Jesus walking on water as a child. Either way, that's always the big message I took from the story - Woah, Jesus is so awesome that he walked on water!
I had never thought about the story from the perspective of the disciples until our priest elaborated on it this morning. Big storms are frightening enough being inside, but being caught out in the middle of the sea in one? Wind howling all around. Waves rocking the boat. Worrying for your life. The disciples must have been terrified to the core. Even though they felt alone and like the Lord was so distant from them, he was right there, watching them the entire time. Never forsaking them. Never leaving them. He was with them. He calmed the storm.
In the same way, God is always, always there with us in the midst of the storms in our lives. When we are afraid, lonely, frustrated, discouraged, stressed, or scared. When we feel like he is so distant from us. When we feel like we are stuck and there is no way out. When we're at rock bottom. He is always there, and he will never leave our side. And just like he calmed the wind for the disciples, he will be the one to bring us peace in the midst of the storm. So take courage, and do not be afraid.