Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is Jesus asleep on your boat?

"Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We are perishing!'" Matthew 8:23-25

There are times in our lives where things are going so hectic and not according to our plans and just ruin everything, and all we want to do is say "Jesus, where are you!?" Haven't we all felt at times that Jesus was asleep on a pillow in the midst of our problems? Ever feel like you're boat was 'covered with waves'? If you think the ideal Christian life is one where there are no problems and no feeling of abandonment, I would have to disagree. If you've ever felt struggles, isolation, or deserted - you're in good company. Jesus, St Paul, Mother Teresa, and many others have felt like that - and its absolutely normal!

A great story I heard once illustrates the sense of the peace and calm I'm trying to focus on.  There was once a king who asked his countrymen to draw what 'peace' really meant. Many people brought to him many paintings - doves, rainbows, beaches, flowers.. but it just didn't settle with him.  Then he saw one drawing - it looked like a mess. There wasn't a single blank space on the painting. It was a mixture of colors and storms and wars and earthquakes and everything. Just in the center of all this chaos was a small tree, with a small branch, with a small nest, with a mother bird covering her egg. This was the image he chose to hang in his palace. He knew that the real sense of peace and comfort came along with the storm, not apart from it.

"There was such a terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead" Mother Teresa writes in Come Be My Light. At times, she may not have felt God's presence in her life, but others surely have. This is a great reflection of the true Apostolic Faith - service to others and obedience to God, no matter how we feel. If God only loved us when we were 'good' to Him, boy would that story be short.

I pray I can understand and really live according to this mentality. If we were faithful only during the times we had a reason to be, then it wouldn't be faith at all - it would be logic. Its those dark times which when we would be faithful, is when we can move mountains and stir the hearts of others - they wouldn't understand why we feel this way in the tough situation we may be faced with, which is all the more reason to believe.

"If my separation from You brings others to You, and in their love and company You find joy and pleasure, why , Jesus, I am willing with all my heart to suffer all that I suffer - not only for now but for eternity - if this was possible." Mother Teresa

If God uses the bad in our life for good, then why can't we?