The Beautiful Storm - Deacon Chris Anderson
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The Beautiful Storm

July 2, 2019

Matthew 8:23-27


I sometimes feel like a little boat getting swamped by the waves–waves of anxiety, of sadness, of fear.

I sometimes feel like Jesus is asleep:  he doesn’t seem to be answering my prayers.  I don’t feel his presence.  He seems to be letting me sink.

It’s easy to believe when the sea is calm.  It’s easy when the sun is out and things are going our way.

It’s so hard in the storm, it’s so hard when we’re sinking, and what this little story is telling us is believe even then.  Have faith that Jesus can calm the storm and have faith that Jesus will never abandon us and have faith that Jesus is always with us, even in the storm–even when the storm overwhelms us.

Someone told me recently that she felt God’s presence when she was going through an intersection and for some reason, by instinct, put her foot on the brake and avoided getting T-boned by someone who had run the light–and I thought yes, of course.

But what about all the people who don’t make it through, who do get hit, who do die, as hundreds and thousands do every day, every hour?  Was Jesus not there for them?  Are we somehow more loved by God, somehow special?  No, of course not.  O we of little faith.  Jesus is there even in the terrible accident, Jesus is there even in our suffering, Jesus is there even when the winds are howling and the rain is pouring down.  God is not a genie who grants us wishes.  God is not a father who plays favorites.  Death is not the only thing and it’s not the worst thing and it’s not the last thing.  In every moment, in every calm and every storm, in every little boat, the Lord is with us.  That’s the challenge of faith.  That’s the gift of faith.

Even the storm is beautiful and right and true.  Even the endless sea.

I came across this prayer the other day in a book by the great Carmelite sister Ruth Burrows:

Nothing is wanting to us.  All is given. Strengthen us, O Given One, to Be Glad.

    All is given.  Everything.  In everything, we are to be glad, for the Lord our God is greater than anything we can imagine.

Nothing is wanting to us.  All is given.  Strengthen us, O Given One, to Be Glad.