Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was 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. The disciples said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
The Lord knew perfectly well that a storm was going to hit them hard and that his disciples were going to be afraid. The Lord also knows what storms will pound down on us. How we react or respond to them will depend greatly on how close we are to Him. Will I abandon ship? Will I lose my faith? Will I turn to Him? Will I trust in Him?
Some time ago I was hearing confessions at a local University. One student, a young female student, came to me for confession. She confessed her sins and I absolved her. Case closed. But I could tell that something was still not right with her. I called her back and asked her, “What’s wrong?” She looked at me and began to cry.
“When I was a senior in High School I was not the most popular girl in school. In fact, I wasn’t popular at all. I was very shy and nerdish and most of the time the other girls just ignored me. So I was very surprised when the most popular girl invited me to her birthday party. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, ‘why in the world would she invite me?’ Well, I was very happy to go. When I got there, I was surprised that no one greeted me at the door. In fact, no one really talked to me at all. It was as if I wasn’t even there! Everyone at the party was having a great time, laughing and talking, and I felt so out of place. After being there for an hour, I decided I was going to leave. That’s when one of the girls put her arm around my neck and took me into the bathroom. There were other girls there too. They were waiting for me. The birthday girl told me, ‘Just look at yourself! Look at how pathetic you are! You are so ugly! Say it, ‘I’m ugly!’ Say it!!! That’s when I said it, ‘I’m ugly’. ‘Say it again!!!’ she demanded. I said it over and over again. Then she said, ‘You’re stupid! Say it!’ And I said it out loud, ‘I’m stupid.’”
While this young girl was telling me this, I was thinking in the back of my mind, “If something like this had happened to me, I would have grabbed the back of this person’s neck and slammed it against the mirror, saying, “You don’t look so pretty with all that glass embedded in your skull!!!” But I had to remind myself, “You’re a man…be quiet!”
She continued…“Just recently, I received an e-mail and an apology from the girl that had done this to me. But what happened that night has left a very deep scare in my heart and in my life. I am having a hard time forgiving her and loving myself. I have a hard time getting to sleep at night.”
I asked her why she thought this girl had apologized. “I don’t know, Father. Maybe she felt sorry for me.” I told her, “I don’t think that’s the reason. I think it is obvious: SHE WAS LYING. You are a beautiful young lady.” Then I asked her, “How are you doing in school?” She told me that she was going to graduate this year, one year ahead of schedule! I looked at her and said, “If you are stupid, then I must be an idiot!” She laughed.
King David’s sin was horrible! He ruined not just another man’s life, but his best friend’s life. He took advantage of Uriah’s patriotism, blind obedience, friendship, honor and dignity. David surely deserved to die. But the Lord showed mercy on his soul. Why? Because David begged for mercy! All of us sin. Not all of us confess our sins.
“Create a clean heart in me, O God!”
The Lord was fast asleep while he was being tossed about in the sea. Sleeping beauty was fast asleep while surrounded by so much evil. The lesson of our Lord is the same as that of sleeping beauty: A clear conscience allows us to sleep at night.
It is true, “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” But it is also true that God so loved the world, that he allowed me to be a part of it, regardless of what others say, others do, and others faults. Are these not the real true storms that affect our lives?
May we remain steadfast in our loyalty to Christ who deserves it above all others!