We have a rule in our house that if Mama is napping, the only acceptable reasons for waking her up are if someone is bleeding profusely, unconscious, or being kidnapped . . . or the house is on fire. That’s it.
So I can sympathize with Jesus’ frustration here, being awakened from His nap by His disciples for something they believe to be dangerous and terrifying, but that for Him can be swept away with a word of rebuke.
I imagine the disciples having the same sort of conversation with each other about the severity of the storm that my kids must have about the severity of a particular skinned knee, and Jesus looking at the waves upon being awakened the way I look at bleeding that could IN NO WAY be considered profuse.
Now, this Mama needs her nap because she is 42 and pregnant, but I also genuinely want my older kids to have the opportunity of some adult-free time to exercise leadership and judgment and do some problem solving and working together.
It’s reasonable to assume that something similar is at work when it feels like Jesus is sleeping through one of my own personal crises. He’s giving me the opportunity to grow through the experience and to turn for help to the people He has put in my life.
And it’s not because they asked Him for help that the disciples were chastised, it’s because they were afraid. Again (Luke 12:4) and again (Luke 1:30) and again (Matthew 1:20) and again (Luke 2:10) in the Gospels, God tells us not to fear. It’s that deep, radical trust in the face of the violent storms that Jesus asks of me.
Like the disciples, and like my children, I always have recourse to cry out, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" (Matthew 8:25) and KNOW that Jesus will come to my assistance.
When this Saint says, "Do not be afraid," we know he's relaying this message straight from the Lord.
Kendra Tierney is a forty-two-year-old mother of nine and wife of one living in and working on a big old fixer-upper house in Los Angeles. She's a homeschooler and a regular schooler and is relishing the new freedom from carpooling that's come with a sixteen-year-old in the house. Her newest book, The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life, is here. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here.