In preparation for Fathers' Day my friend Dave took his 3 year old nephew Tyler to a card store. He showed him the cards for dads and told him to pick one. When Dave looked back, little Tyler was picking up one card after another, opening it up and quickly putting it back on the card rack. Dave asked, "Tyler what are you doing? Haven't you found a nice card for your daddy yet?" Little Tyler said, "I'm looking for one with money in it." He was trying to find the kind of card he likes to receive. Doesn't that sound like a 3 year olds logic?
Our gospel today makes me think of a storm I was in a couple years back up in the Canadian wilderness in the Quetico canoeing and fishing in aluminum canoes. We were moving from one campsite to another and close to the end of the day's travel we saw a storm with lightening coming and we quickly pulled up on a small island. The storm turned out to be a "Bow-echo" with 75 mile and hour straight line winds which lasted about 15 minutes. The trees which had little root were falling all around us and those with solid roots were breaking off about 15 feet up. The amazing thing was that even though we were totally soaked, our canoes filled with water, we, our canoes and equipment came out of it very wet but without a scratch. One of the boys with us kept saying, "We're doomed, we're doomed." Reading today's gospel I can just imagine that's exactly what the disciples were saying and they were totally amazed that Jesus was able to sleep through the storm. As the scripture tells us they woke Jesus and demanded: "Don't you care that we are perishing?" As the scripture continues, "Jesus woke up, rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" Just as anyone of us likely would have been, the disciples were filled with wonder and awe, realizing that he was someone special but they still didn't recognize him as the Christ.
What is the worst storm you have ever faced? A car accident, a near-death experience, a death in the family or a seemingly terminal illness? How did you react? Did you let it paralyze you with fear? Or did you ask the Lord to help you find a way through the storm? Jesus wants us, as Psalm 23 tells us, to walk in the shadow of death and fear no evil. Sometimes we may feel that Jesus is asleep, but this is not true. Jesus' disciples found that was not true for them and it's not true for us. What he wants is for us to trust and believe. I have a 3 by 5 card on which is written, "Jesus brought me to this and he will bring me through it." The fact is: He always does but so often we doubt and feel that it is not true. That is, until we take the time to reflect on those worst storms faced or are facing and recognize God's hand in it, and the good he has brought from that storm.
Just as little Tyler felt that his dad wanted a card with money in it not realizing that what his dad wanted more was for his little boy to love him and trust him. That is what our God wants from us, love, trust and living out that love and trust even though we likely don't understand at the time of the storm.