Today's reading contains a great message. Sometimes I have a difficult time to grasp and understand the message in the reading. In today's reading the message seems crystal clear to me. In fact I see two messages.
Message one is about life on this earth. Life, your life, my life, is like the ocean in today's reading. The weather of our ocean may seem fine, almost perfect, thus we shove off and proceed with life. We never know what storms we may encounter or face, however, one thing we all know is that storms are out there. Faith in God is essential to weathering some storms. Through God we get courage and hope. Hopefully, the vast majority of storms we face are not life threatening like the one in today's reading, but even if they are God can bring us through. I am inspired by the actions of Paul when, after this storm has been raging for days, he tells the sailors that God, whom he serves, will stand by him. Please remember that God can turn disaster into deliverance and hopelessness to hope. It is in these storms that our faith is sometimes tested but always grows.
The second message pertains to the way we live our lives and the importance we place in trusting God. During the voyage in today's reading, after the storm hit, the people in the ship did not know exactly where they were as they had not seen the stars or sun for several days. In that time in history, navigation was not done with a compass but by the stars and sun. Thus, when the sailors had not seen either, they were lost. This feeling of being lost is the condition we all feel when we lessen our faith in God. It is also a feeling people who do not have a strong faith, or any faith, experience. When this happens to us or to others it is as if we are walking in darkness without any light. This is a terrible feeling. Paul sets a great example for us by not losing hope and faith in God. In the face of the storms you face, trust in the promises of God.