All of us can remember a time we were in a lake, ocean, pool, or pond when we were tossed in the water and began to drown. I was reading a book the other day when a young boy in Japan went out too far in the Sea of Japan and he realized that the water was over his head and could not swim. A few fishermen rescued the boy and brought him home. His mother spoke wise words to her son. All you would have had to do was turn on your back and just relax. God would have kept you alive.
Jesus, who had just spoken to a large group of people, had been in a quiet spot praying. He must have noticed the storm and was concerned for his fishermen friends. He cared enough to go in search of them.
So, Jesus walked on water, out to the disciples to help them by calming the water and offering Peter a chance to try to be a trusting disciple. Peter failed the first time he had to make a choice to trust Jesus, but, after trying and trying the rest of his life, he became quite good at it. Most of you today have little trouble trusting Jesus. I want to speak to those like me who do have trouble.
We have many storms that blow us this way and that way. They could include:
-poverty in the United States and the world
-for many, the lack of food and security
-family violence and unrest
The list could go on and on. We might say to others that working harder, or pull up the straps on your boots, or get over yourself when we hear about the problems of others.
But, if you are the person who is in the difficult situation, it makes it worse if someone else tells us to just move on – or that is not a big problem, Or – tells us what we should do to correct the situation. (I hate that one)
Today is the day to believe anew that God really loves us – and I mean really loves us. We are here today by the grace of God. Other people have come into our lives at the right time and place to encourage and strengthen us. It helps to write down in a Gratitude Journal the times that God – through people- came through for us when the head winds are fierce. We have to remember that God was and still is with us.
Trusting in God can be very difficult for some of us – maybe all of us. Recall that time you found your toys when they were lost, you always had something to eat – even if you did not like it, and you are in church today.
How can we be with others when they are unable to trust and unable to believe that they are worthy of God's love?
Jesus has been telling us what to do in the entire Gospel. Feed the hungry, give to the poor, collect pencil boxes and folders to help children going back to school.
Continue to listen, listen, listen, and not judge someone who seems to be acting foolishly. Remember that God can speak to us in little ways throughout the day if we are in contact with the Love that surrounds us. Perhaps it is a child's love, a pet that gives us unconditional attention, or a grandson who has been heroin free for seven months, a garden that is growing, and, we could say more.
The Gospel story today is a call to trust again, and again, and again until trust becomes easier. Many of you know how to do this. Some, like myself, are still learning that Trust comes with practice.