A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Calmer Waters

Posted on: June 16, 2016

Put your hand in the hand of the man

Who stilled the water

Put your hand in the hand of the man

Who calmed the sea

~ “Put Your Hand in the Hand,” written by Gene MacLellan

I admit it: I’m no sailor. I love looking at the ocean, swimming in it, or smelling the salty air by the water, but choppy waters or a rocking boat make my head spin and my stomach churn.

Sometimes the challenges we face can make us feel like we’re out on a rough sea, with no safe harbour close by. We might react physically to the stress with nausea or dizziness and worry that we’ll never touch solid ground again.

That’s where our faith comes in.

Think about this passage in Matthew 8:24-27*:

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but [Jesus] was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

The disciples feared for their lives because of the waves that threatened to swamp their boat, but when they cried out to Jesus, he calmed the storm.

No matter what crisis we face, God offers us shelter from the storm. He hears our prayers and answers them, though not always in the way we would like or expect. He can bring peace to our hearts and keep the waves from overwhelming us.

Over the past few months, I’ve felt like I’ve been fighting a losing battle against the waves. But lately the waters have been a little calmer. My son will soon be finished exams. A loved one fighting cancer is nearly done his chemo treatments. I’ll be starting a new job soon, with appropriate work clothes (thanks to Dress for Success). I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for ten years, and I feel strong enough to take on the challenge of balancing the demands of my job and home life. And I have more love and support around me than I could have hoped for.

I’ve held onto my faith despite my worry and feelings of being overwhelmed. I’ve kept praying and going to Mass when all I could do was just be there. And God is bringing me through it all.

I pray that, if we feel like we’re never going to reach the shore, we would stop struggling against the waves and ask God to guide us there.

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition.)


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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