“Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.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.They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:45-52
Jesus, walking on the water, intended to pass by His disciples who were on a boat in the middle of the storm. Why would He do this? This seems uncaring, callous. However, it was intended with love. The apostles had not understood the miracle of the loaves and fishes and their hearts had hardened. Jesus told them to feed the people themselves, a call to provide the Eucharist for His people. The apostles had not understood this at the time, but Satan had. So he sought out to harden their hearts to God and His infinite power and might. Jesus sent them into the storm while He prayed, and then intended to pass them by. He knew their hearts had been hardened, so they needed to turn back to God. They saw Jesus and thought He was a ghost. They were filled with fear. Not the virtuous fear, but the cowardly fear. Their hearts had closed, so their faith had dwindled. They only needed to ask for God’s help and He would answer, and Jesus did, He calmed the storm.
How many times do we forget to look to God for aid? When we are caught in a storm, we often become fearful. Are we made of such little faith? Do we not know that God is right there with us in the boat? Fear of the Lord is wisdom, but fear because we forget or doubt the Lord is cowardice and stupidity. We should fear nothing because the Lord of hosts is on our side. “Ask and you shall receive.” If you find yourself caught in a storm, ask for God’s help. He will answer for He never turns away His faithful children.
We must not forget though, that God puts us in the storms. He wants us to help others and He wants us to grow in dependence upon Him. He wishes to bring back all of His children. He wants us to learn to trust Him and call upon His name in all trials. We must brave the storm by turning to our all-powerful God. Others who witness our faith will follow in our example. How many times do we see God’s hand working in our lives, but are fearful because we do not trust Him?
How many times do we harden our hearts and become blind, unable to see that God was right there all along? We must never forget the power, love and mercy of God. If we follow Him who made us, we will never be led astray, we will never grow weary, we will never want for anything. We will always be filled with love, hope and truth. Trust in the Lord for love of the Lord. His love never fails and it conquers all. His love is the greatest weapon man has ever known and we are called to use it daily, to spread it to others. It is a gift that keeps giving and will never die because its source is the eternal God.
God will provide. He will give us all we need, not all we want, but what we need. His plans are far greater than our own and will bring great joy. It is when we resist His perfect plan that we find sorrow, pain and despair. Follow Him who is the “way, the truth, and the life” and you will forever be satisfied.