20th June 2021
TRUST, AND LET GOD WORRY
Job 38: 1, 8-11
Psalms 107: 23-26, 28-31
2 Corinthians 5: 14-17
Mark 4: 35-41
God is in control. That message comes through loudly in our readings today. Our First Reading is part of a long speech by God in the Book of Job. Job has previously listened to his so- called friends trying to convince him of his sinfulness and need for repentance. Job has maintained his innocence and has asked God for some explanation of why he has undergone such tragedies. God responds, not by giving reason for what has happened but by describing the divine omnipotence (all- powerfulness) and omniscience (“all-knowing-ness”). Since God has created the world and can control acts of nature, such as storms, God should not be questioned because God’s ways are far beyond those of mortals.
The Responsorial Psalm relates the plight of sailors on the sea and God’s hand at work both in storms and the calming of storms. Just as the men of the sea can attest to the mighty deeds of nature in gales that blow while they are traveling over the waters, they can also praise God for bringing them safely to harbor. God’s mighty power is evident to seafarers. So, God’s control of nature should also be admitted by others; and God should be praised for being in control.
The Gospel presents Jesus and His disciples embarking on the sea after a full day of teaching and preaching to the people. Jesus falls fast asleep aboard the ship. As a storm blows across the sea, the disciples become so frightened that they awake Jesus. After rebuking the storm, He turns and chides His disciples for their lack of faith.
As I reflect on the readings, I see ourselves in the position of both Job and the disciples. Things do not always turn out as we expect. When events happen in our life which are not what we want and they seem out of our control, we question why God lets certain things happen. We begin to question even if God knows what is happening. We often become disillusioned and fearful. If we turn to God, it is out of a sense of panic. We want God to fix “it”. This past 15 months have left many people feeling the storm and panic of the pandemic, wondering if the Lord was sleeping while we faced all the hardships, we all faced.
Allowing God to be in control is a lesson all of us need to continually learn. It does not lessen the importance of us giving ourselves 100% to the tasks on hand. It, however, takes away the unhealthy anxiety and helps us to deal with the difficulties in life. Life is filled with challenges. The challenges can become so overwhelming that they de-energize us and paralyse us. It is only when we can surrender ourselves to God that God can demonstrate Who is in control.
For those of us who like order and structure in our lives, it can be particularly demoralizing when we realize we are not in charge and have no control of certain outside forces which affect our lives. We are, like the disciples in the Gospel, in the midst of a stormy sea, being tossed about. We, like Job, may realize that God is not punishing us for our sins, although unlike Job, we have had our fair share of wrong doings. Maladies, misfortunate situations, and problems are part of life here on Earth.
What is important is that we can trust in the Lord Jesus and realize that God is in control. That means we must reach a point when we give up the selfish control we desire to have and hand things over to God. It demands trust in the omniscient and omnipotent God, Who loves us more than we can ever know, and definitely more than we deserve. God truly wants the best for us and is working in our lives even while we face the most turbulent times. God is not inflicting us with problems, but is with us through the problems.
Could God have created the universe without such difficulties? Of course, but then we and other cognizant beings would not have the freedom to make choices to love and be loved. Because God has empowered us with the ability to choose and make decision and reflect on what we do, we experience a world in which we can see disorder. Trusting in a God Who has ultimate control shows that we realize our dependency on the Lord Jesus and His Father. And in the end, God will lead us to an eternally safe haven where we will experience the fullness of life without problems.
Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers.