Jesus Calms the Storms Within | Season of Joy

Season of Joy

Today's Season of Joy reflection on John 6:16-21 is by Tammy Bundy.

Tammy is the author of several books, including Lessons from the School of Suffering with Fr. Jim Willig, and the recent picture book, Lullaby Prayer. Her weekly column has appeared on EWTN global Catholic radio. You can follow her on all social media platforms, and at TamaraBundy.com

Jesus Calms the Storms Within

John 6:16-21 (excerpt)

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.

To read the full scripture passage, please visit: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/043022.cfm

Seeing Jesus in the midst of the storms of life is such a comforting reminder, isn’t it? I mean it’s easy to feel the presence of God in the sunshine, when all is going well. We feel so blessed, so assured. But those days when those storms roll in, they can really rock us— they can really rock our faith.

I love this Gospel of the disciples in the boat. The timing of it all seems to echo in my life.

They’d just come off a miracle—the multiplication of the loaves and fish! Can you imagine how confident they felt when they were witnessing the whole thing?

Can you imagine what was in their heads? Wow! We are in the right spot. We are certainly blessed.

It must have been so easy to believe in the power Jesus when you're standing right there seeing the miracles first hand. The Son was truly shining on them.

And how natural would it have been for the disciples to ask to stay right there—with the proof of the miracle with the people who also saw and believed the miracle? I’d want to dwell in that moment—can I just bask here in the glory of you Lord, for just a little while please?

But of course, when those miracle moments in our lives happen, God knows our spiritual growth doesn’t occur from sitting and basking, it usually occurs when we're tested. And nobody likes to be tested.

Not too long ago, I was basically basking in God’s goodness. Life was good.

My four kids were grown and happy in their adult lives. My husband and I had just purchased a new home where we could only imagine family gatherings throughout our golden years to come. Retirement was peeking around the corner. And of course, I’d just been given the most marvelous miracles of all—my first grandchild. I was basking.

It’s easy in those moments to feel you really are on God’s good side. Like the disciples witnessing the miracles they’d just seen—I was confident in my faith, and my future. I felt so blessed.

Then, something wasn't quite right.

One doctor’s visit led to another. More questions arose and fewer answers seemed to be found.

Several specialists and several months later, I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Scleroderma. There's no secret in the fact that an autoimmune diagnosis is a grand spectrum of disorders that can result in things as small as an annoyance, all the way up to life-threatening issues.

This is the case with Scleroderma. It might forever be a nuisance that I will live a long time with, or it might cause complications with my organs and shorten my life.

Some days I'm sailing my metaphorical boat in the sunshine. I feel the Lord’s face shining on me. I’ve got this. I’m once again confident in my faith and in my future.

But then the storm comes. There’s doubt. There’s worry. There’s a suspicious spot on my lungs. It might be nothing—it might be something big. That storm is brewing. And it's gonna be three months before the pulmonary specialist can see me. The storm starts raging.

It's natural for the winds and worry to hit then. I would think that Jesus would be surprised if I didn’t get scared. It just wouldn’t be natural and it certainly wouldn’t be truthful.

When those storms hit, I am reminded of my friend—the amazing priest—Fr. Jim Willig; the founder of Heart to Heart, and author of Lessons from the School of Suffering.

When the storms of worry and suffering hit during the times of his cancer journey, he would allow himself to admit to being scared. Then he’d remind himself—and all of us—I do not know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.

That helps me so much.

Remembering that doesn’t always calm the storm immediately, but it helps to give such peace in the storm. It helps me focus better to see Jesus walking towards my battered boat when I am scared. And it also reminds me that Jesus is always helping me get to the other side telling me He’s with me, "Be not afraid”—even when I can’t see him as clearly as I might want.

Sometimes, He calms the storms around us—but more often He calms the storms within us.

All we need to do is call on Him.

And then keep our eyes and hearts open wide.

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