At Mass this past Sunday, our priest made a very good point when talking about the account from the Gospel of Matthew of Jesus being in the boat with His disciples when it begins to rock and be thrown about from the rough waters and winds. Jesus had fallen asleep and the disciples frantically woke Him up, begging for Him to save them. Our priest pointed out that Jesus did not blame the rough waters, but instead rebuked the disciples for their little faith. This may seem obvious, but phrased in this new way it really makes you think about the fact that in the end it won’t be the circumstances that matter, but the way in which we reacted to them and trusted in God.
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” This was Jesus’s question to His disciples and He is asking it of every single one of us too. Our fallen human nature makes it easy for anxiety and worry to take over, but God calls us to trust Him and believe that no matter what may befall us, He will take care of it in the end. And there are countless accounts in history and probably even in our own lives where He did indeed take care of things in the end and made sure we were taken care of, so in reality we know there is no reason to worry when new problems arise. It is our responsibility to turn to Him when we feel anxiety start to creep in, to give Him those feelings and ask Him to change them into feelings of peace and confidence in His love for us.
This can also apply to our treatment of and love for our neighbor. We often want revenge for wrongs done to us and it can be hard to control our tempers when we feel disrespected or betrayed. We doubt that God will really take care of the person or situation so we take matters into our own hands. But God has told us that vengeance is His (Romans 12:19-21) and that He will repay things in His time. We must trust that His timing and way of doing things is better than ours and that whatever He has planned is the best thing. Why do we doubt that He can convert a person who is mistreating us, possibly even using us to move that person to repentance? This is why we must always be like Jesus in our dealings with others, so that others may see and come to believe.
Why do we doubt God? It doesn’t matter the circumstance, He will always come through for us. And learning to trust in Him is crucial for our journey to eternal life, because the circumstances thrown our way are just part of life. We will be held responsible for how we responded to them and the degree of trust we had in God. We should pray for an increase in this trust, so that God will not ask us at the end of this life why we had so little faith and doubted Him.