Why should I believe in God; after all, what has he done for me? Why did God allow this evil to happen to me? Why does God keep hurting me? Of course our list could grow much longer.
What will it be? Will I live a life of doubt, distrust and sin? Or will I live a life full of faith, hope and love? These are the two paths that appear before me. Both are open to me; but only one is open ended. One leads to eternal life, the other to a dead end. What will it be? You would think that the choice would be so obvious, but it is not. Sin has a strong appeal to me. It gives me the illusion of a way out. But in reality it is, and will always be, the escape route that leads to self-gratification: Love Thyself.
We are all in this together. These are not Christ’s words, they are mine. But I believe they express succinctly what the Apostles and the Lord experienced together in the boat, that frightful evening, as they were making their way to the other side in this mighty storm! There are so many images here to discuss: the storm, the Lord asleep, the boat, the other side.
The storm reminds us of the unexpected twists and turns, up and downs of our life - with or without Christ. The storms hit and the Apostles are with the Lord, and he is asleep. So, what good is it to believe? What’s the difference? I thought that if I got in the boat with the Lord it would be smooth sailing? I guess not. The difference is essential. Better to be with Christ through the storm than to be in the storm without Him. For with Him, I will make it out of the storm alive, better than ever, richer, not poorer. The fool is the one who builds his house on sand. The storms hit, the floods come and washes everything away. But the wise man builds his house on rock. When the storms hit and the floods come – the house still stands!
The sleeping Lord reminds us that the storm is not to be feared but being thrown out of the boat; that is, being far from the Lord, is what must be feared.
The boat reminds us immediately of Noah’s Ark, the ark of salvation, and that there is no salvation outside the boat. The boat exists because of the storm. The Ark was created because of sin. All is lost outside of the boat. St. Peter reminds us of what the Ark prefigured: the salvation of all who are baptized with water and the Holy Spirit - the Church. The Church is the Ark. Sin does not discredit the Church but reminds us of why it exists. Chesterton once wrote, "As for the general view that the Church was discredited by the War - they might as well say that the Ark was discredited by the Flood. When the world goes wrong, it proves rather that the Church is right. The Church is justified, not because her children do not sin, but because they do." All are welcomed into the boat, but not all choose to enter.
The Lord and the Apostles, and all those who choose to travel with Him, will make it to the other side. This is the greatest voyage ever taken - not because it is the greatest distance ever traveled, but because the greatest man got into the boat with me. The Apostles were not perishing. On the contrary, they were surfing the highest waves and living life on high in Christ Jesus! Dude!