Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. Mark 4:36(a)
My Divine and Sweet Master,
Help me to remember that you are just as powerful asleep as when you are awake. Bring to mind the sleeping Jesus so I too can sleep and know that you are there and will take care of my needs. Increase my faith Lord, and help me to show people that God is ever present in every storm of life. We just have to choose to believe.
In Jesus Name,
The story of the storm and the sleeping Jesus is one of my favorite stories in the entire gospel. This is a go -to for me. In times when waves are turbulent, I recall the scene in the storm. I think of the waves, and the rain, and the harsh wind. But then my mind turns to the sleeping Jesus. If recovery from the harsh effects of sexual abuse has taught me anything, it is that I have to be prepared when the storm hits. Because I know it will.
When a person is in recovery for anything- addiction, alcoholism and the like, the storms are constantly brewing. Living with the effects of trauma leaves behind destruction and desolation which leads to one wanting to quell the storm. Behaviors like addiction to drugs and alcohol are the human’s response to not wanting to face and deal with the pain of whatever is troubling them. This is no different than the person who does not turn to a bottle of vodka but instead mires themselves in busyness. Any behavior can become an escape, an unhealthy place, and a way to avoid the reality of what is facing us. These sins are not distinguishable. They are the same in different form.
In recovery,I learned how to deescalate myself. We learned how to deal with pain and flashbacks by experiencing it, not running from it. From a Catholic lens, it is the very embrace of the crucifix, nails in hand and trouble breathing.
It is the walk through Calvary that enables the soul to heal
The longer we avoid suffering, the longer the storm stays. It is only when we lean in, except the rain, and waves and rocking boat that we realize that this is the only way to the other side. This is the only way to true peace.
This is the way that was chosen before the beginning of time. This is the only way, the way of the cross.
And the disciples, they took him in the boat just as he was. How was He? About to go to sleep. Tired from the day.
Is there any difference between the sleeping Jesus and the one that is awake?
Of course not. The difference is not in the state that Jesus is in but the state that we are in. Do we trust Him in all things? Do we see his sleep in our storm as a peaceful place to be with Him or do we see it as God abandoning us?
Many women in my group had to work through the pain of asking why God did not stop their abuse. Was He even there? The age old question of why do bad things happen to good people. Anyone who has that question swirling in their head should certainly jump in the boat of the raging sea to get their answer.
Let’s start here. Bad things happen to all people. The rain comes down on the righteous man and the evil one. The question about why bad things happen to good people is the wrong question to ask. That question is on the surface of the sea.
The question to ask is how do I navigate a sea of bad things? Do I choose to trust myself and embrace an atheistic worldview or do I choose to trust that there is a God in heaven and jump in the boat with Him to cross to the other side?
Most people will not jump in that boat to find out the answers to life’s toughest questions. Most will stay in the rocking boat, in the violent squall. Some will perish.
It is in fact when the storms are strongest that I remember to have the most faith. It is certainly a very perplexing dichotomy. But this is what gets me through. The more violent the storm, the more I remember to trust. I remember Christ is with me, that he loves me, and I choose to crawl into the stern and sleep next to Him on His pillow.
The sleeping Jesus teaches us to trust ever the more. That Jesus does not have to be awake to grant miracles. That He is so powerful, even though He cannot be heard or seen, He can be eternally felt. There is no abandonment in Christ.
Those that trust in the sleeping Jesus unlock the power of the saints. This is faith.