“A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.” Matthew 8:24-26
We’re reminded of Christ’s presence during troubling times. But, we’re also called to venture from the safety of inaction into the troubling, even dangerous, waters of our Christian mission: To love and reflect Christ to all we encounter.
Jesus asleep in the boat foreshadows both his death and resurrection. As we traverse life, watching the world toss and threaten around us, we cry out, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Like the disciples, we may forget Christ is with us, that he already has risen from sleep, has vanquished death itself and has power over any force thrown against us.
That truly is good news. No matter what this life throws at us, Christ is with us. But, when the waters of this life get rough, doubt and fear arise within us. We may hear this story and think Christ will smooth out all the rough waters of this life, and as the waves rise we wonder why Christ has not calmed the storm. We need only look at the lives of the disciples to know that smooth sailing isn’t necessarily our call.
Everyone on that boat, including Jesus, went on to face suffering, hardship and bodily death. Christ showed them the power to find inner peace — to calm the storm — no matter what this life may present. But, he did not call them — or us — to remain in safe harbor. He called them to go out, to face the hardships of this world, and in the face of any danger, to reflect Christ and offer love. He gives us the same call. And, no matter how much this world may toss us about, we always have with us the ultimate source of inner calm: the peace of Christ.
Holy God, help us to find the inner peace of faith in you, and to serve your Kingdom with strength and courage, in the conviction that nothing this world can do will unseat us from the glory we gain in Christ. Amen.