Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”* The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
In this very short verse from the Bible we learn two very important points: Jesus is God and we must not fear.
First, we see the disciples very afraid, the winds were bad and it appeared as if they were going to perish into the terrifying waters. They were afraid and wanted to escape, the felt great fear. Jesus was sleeping because He was unafraid, He trusted God. Then He gets up and calms the winds and the waters, an act only God can do. This is really the first time that the disciples witnessed the great extent of the power of Jesus Christ. It really is a two-fold learning tool because we see what great power Jesus physically has over the world but it also shows us how much spiritual power He has over us, when we allow Him to.
We all have turbulent times in our life where nothing seems to go right. A storm, if you will, of uncertain waves of persecution and loss. The waters in our life become unsteady threatening to topple us out of our boat at any moment, consuming every inch of our life. However, if we call upon Jesus and truly believe in Him with our whole hearts, then He will calm the storm within our hearts and life. If He calms a raging storm for the disciples, then would He not do the same for us?
Then He says to His disciples, “why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”. They were in the presence of Jesus Christ, yet they still held such a crippling amount of fear because they thought they were going to die. In our lives fear causes weakness because we put our trust in the wrong person – ourselves. Fear can be summed up in four words F-orget E-verything A-nd R-un. Forget, what are we forgetting? Jesus.
When we are plagued with a fear so troubling that it affects our abilities to think coherently then we are saying that we aren’t strong enough. Whatever we are afraid of holds a power so strong over us that we lose a little piece of our self. Jesus asked His disciples why they were so afraid, did they not have faith in Him yet. They could have perished in the waters, they could have been swept away and lost their lives however they were afraid of the possibility of dying. I’m not saying go out and be an adrenaline junky and sky dive or go hug a bear. I am saying that when faced with an outright scary situation we shouldn’t fear the outcome. When it is our time to go home God will call us and we have to be prepared. We have to understand that we live our lives every day as if the lord is returning.
Next time you are plagued by a crippling fear, imagine yourself on the boat with the disciples and Jesus. Imagine Jesus saying to you, have you no faith? Then work on confronting the fear that is holding you back. It is a process and it may not happen overnight but keep working at it. Prayer is your number one tool for getting over fears – use it! But make sure that you keep your faith while you face your fears and remember that Jesus is ALWAYS with you, even when you feel all along and fearful. Call on Him! That is what He wants and find your peace in His love.
Help me to fight my fears,
That keep me from you.
Help me to place my trust in you,
Instead of in myself.
The glory of each day I live is for you,
I would be nothing without your love helping me through.
Dear Mom and Dad,
The seasons change, leaves fall away, the sun sets and rises but one thing remains the same – your love. A love that I was surrounded in when growing up and that I still continue to feel. Many children are neglected, either their parents just don’t feed them or are too poor to afford food. You sacrificed your food for your children’s, opting to go hungry instead of letting your little ones have an empty stomach. Many children are not shown love and are made to feel worthless. You let us kids know that if we worked hard enough, then we can and will accomplish our dreams. Dad worked hard in the military, sacrificing so much to ensure that his children had a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food in their tummy. Mom worked hard taking care of the children, showering them with love, cooking, cleaning and playing with them. Many kids are beaten for the mere fact of breathing wrong and just existing, other kids are left to their own devices with no direction. You instilled a discipline of respecting adults, being responsible and respecting ourselves. You gave us chores that we learned to complete and were rewarded for. One time we had a ticketing system where you went out and bought a bunch of cool toys. We all worked hard to earn tickets, then had an auction on the goodies that we wanted. We learned that by dedicating ourselves to a task, completing it thoroughly and working hard will lead to success. I respect you two for what you have done for me and how you have helped me, even if most of the time I didn’t deserve it.
Since the fall of Eden people have always have their weaknesses, their struggles. None of us are free from that. That is why Jesus came, to help us work through these weaknesses and to find salvation. This world is one that we must carry our cross, walk with Jesus and follow the path He has for us. We are so often overcome by the temptations of the devil that we lose our way. That was me. I was tempted by wanting so badly to be a part of the world, which is what I did. My parents had brought me to God and helped me to develop a faith within the Catholic Church. When I reached a certain point in my life I rebelled against the idea of the Church and what faith was; so much so that I was wicked to my parents. I did everything to keep my heart in the world that I didn’t realize how much damage I was really doing. So much so that twice in my life I really had to face reality and it wasn’t until the second time that I truly took what Jesus was giving me. I changed my life so much because I knew that was what had to be done, when in doing so I found true happiness. So much tragedy has struck in my life since my transformation that I can’t help but to see that the path I have chosen is the one that Christ has wanted for me. It is through these tragic events that I see Jesus smiling at me because I know that He holds me, that through these sufferings something beautiful is being made.
My parents are a big part of why I am where I am now. They have helped me and all their children through their falls because that is the type of people they are. Not all their children appreciate the sacrifices and support they have made but Jesus knows the truth. We can create wicked scenarios that are completely false but in the end, God knows. You can smear someone’s name as much as you want in false lies but it won’t last forever. The light will always overcome the dark and the lies will always be made known.
Help us to appreciate the love a parent has for us.
When they try to guide us, help us to listen to them,
Not to fight against the wisdom they offer.
Bring peace and comfort,
When children are wicked to their parents,
Please wrap your arms around the parents to comfort them.
Help give parents the strength to stand tall against the attacks of Satan.
Living for Jesus means making sacrifices and living in a state of the unknown. This world is a brutal one, particularly for the followers of God and those who proclaim Jesus message. Sure, we can live in the comfort of our lives and go to church on Sunday and holy days of obligation – stopping there. But is that really living for Christ? We can’t hold back in our beliefs and we have to live by them if we want to be followers of Christ.
When I say that we live in the state of the unknown when we are followers of Jesus Christ, it is the unknown of how the world will react to us – usually with aggression. People who don’t have Jesus or who have him in the wrong way will more than likely react in a negative way when you proclaim the word. This doesn’t mean standing on the street corner holding a sign but rather trying to connect with people and teach them about the true way of Jesus.
People will oppose you, so be ready! My ultimate goal is to open up a retreat center and while I have a ton of support someone told me the other day that it would be a waste of my life, that I should do something more stable. I wasn’t surprised that someone would say this because looking at things from a worldly perspective it isn’t necessarily stable and I am taking a huge leap. However, I am not alone and I do not live for this world.
That is something that we so often forget sometimes is that we do not live for this world. So while a stable 9 to 5 job is good for some people and Jesus may call you to do that, He calls others to do something different. We should be out there preaching the good news of our God and our faith. Instead sometimes we keep it to ourselves because it is taboo to share your religion with others or it is okay to do it just on Sundays.
The apostles were from all different walks of life, fisherman, tax collectors, etc. who had comfortable jobs in their time. When Jesus called them they left that to follow Him and once He died, they spread His message to those who did not have it – even at the cost of death they did it. What this shows me is that we have to step outside of our comfort zone to truly follow Jesus, we have to risk all kinds of things to follow Him. They are not done in vain because our life here on earth is small compared to that of eternity in Heaven. If we live only for this world and find comfort in this world, it will eventually die and we will be cut off from eternity.
Please help me to follow you,
The road is not easy but through you it is possible.
Give me the strength to stand and preach your word,
To bring the souls you love back to you.
Give me courage and strength to take the path that you have for me,
To open my heart to your will.