After a long and tiring day of preaching, Jesus told His apostles to sail to the other side of the sea of Galilee. Instead of waiting for the next morning, Jesus gave no explanation, but told them to go. The sea of Galilee was a 'second home' for the apostles. Night after night they went to the sea to fish, and probably accustomed to the storms while out in their boats. Keeping the boat afloat in a stormy water was hard, and the darkness of the night made the task even more challenging. The apostles were preparing for the worse, while Jesus was sound asleep on the boat. In their fear and frustration they told Him, 'Master, do you not care? Mk 4,39'. Calling out for help was a right thing to do, but the choice of the words was unfortunate. Jesus told them about their lack of faith in Him. Put in St Paul's language, the apostles saw Jesus 'by the standards of the flesh'. 2 Cor.5,16.
Earlier in the day, the apostles listened to Jesus. They admired Him as a man of great wisdom. Jesus woke up and gave a double command: 'Quiet now! Be calm!' Mk 4,39b. One command dropped the strong wind, and the other one died out the mighty waves. The apostles now saw Jesus with their wide- opened eyes. Knowing the force of nature obeyed Jesus, their faith in Jesus was upgraded to another level. He must be the Lord of the natural world. They also learnt that following Jesus, they would not be freed from 'turbulent water', but when it happens, Jesus was available to assist them.
Following Jesus, we continue to face the reality of the world. There are good days, and not so good ones. There are hope and fear, order and chaos. These are the reality of life. When encountering adversity, there are options for us to chose from. First, we are free to chose to 'sail' alone; second, we are free to 'sail' with humanity, and third, we are free to 'sail' with the Divinity. The apostles chose the first two options, and could change nothing. In their fear, and tiredness, and frustration, they turned to Jesus for help. Jesus' power and His presence had shaped the lives of the apostles, changing them from fear to faith. On the positive aspects of adversity, the apostles learnt more about themselves. Their faith in Jesus was deepened, and they understood Jesus' power better.
The way we relate to God to the 'storm in life' reveals the truth about our faith in Jesus. It is the 'other side' of the sea. On 'this side' of the sea, following Jesus was easy, we sail well in life. On the 'other side' of life, when we go through the darkness of night, when tough time comes, we learn more about our spiritual life, about faith, and trust in Jesus. The reality of life is that one moment we are doing fine, and unexpectedly, we are confronted with news we don't want to know. The apostles told us, having faith in Christ led them through.
When we are in fear; the fear factor takes control of the situation. We often do or say something which we would not do in a normal circumstance. Jesus' apostles loved Him, and obeyed Him, but when they faced the storm they questioned about His love for them. This kind of language we continue to hear in the modern world. What count is not much about the words uttered but the hidden intension of a heart. The apostles seemed to complain with faith, not with doubt. Their cry was the cry of fear and abandonment. It was the same cry Jesus made when he was on the cross: 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me Mk 15:34. The cry was the confession of faith with the feeling that God was absent.