Texas has always been “home away from home” for me likely because my mother was raised in the Ft. Worth area. I can fondly remember childhood vacations to Texas to see my aunts, uncles and cousins – many of whom still reside in the area. I always looked forward to family trips to Texas. When my father retired, my parents moved from Indiana (where I was raised) back to Texas. This relocation for them in the late 80’s rekindled my interest in that region, and after both of my parents’ death they were interred in Texas. For many reasons, I have a strong connection to that state. So when recent news accounts showed the devastating flooding that have been happening there, it has certainly drawn my attention. Texas set a new rainfall record for May, almost two times the state's average and the most in any month ever. More than 37 trillion gallons of water fell on the state in May, according to the National Weather Service, and more rain was forecasted for this past week. CNN reported more rainfall coming to the state between last Monday (June 15) and Wednesday (June 17). "Through Wednesday, widespread rainfall totals could easily average 6 to 8 inches with some amounts exceeding 10 inches," read the ominous forecast issued by the weather service office in Houston. "This will obviously lead to a dangerous flood situation."
As we enjoyed a relatively beautiful spring here in Minnesota, my heart has been going out to those affected by the record-breaking rainfall in Texas. I can’t imagine what they are going through. For any of us who have dealt with any amount of flooding, the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness can be overwhelming. Even if we’ve only dealt with a flooded basement, we may be left asking, “When will it stop?” and “Where do I begin in the clean up?” Mother Nature can be relentless. The fear and frustration that the people in Texas are feeling must be crushing.
In today’s Gospel, the disciples must have been feeling the same fear and frustration that is currently being experienced in Texas. They were in their boats in the middle of an overpowering storm. The seas were rough and the waves were crashing over the sides of the boat. The disciples were certain that their boats were about to sink and were fearful that they would die soon thereafter. In the midst of the storm, they called out to Jesus (who was sleeping soundly in one of the boats). They begged him for help. Jesus awoke and simply commanded the wind and the sky to become calm. “Quiet! Be Still!” he said and the storm subsided. Then he asked the disciples, “Do you not yet have faith?”
If we have faith and believe in God, He will help us weather any storm. No matter what we are dealing with, He is there to watch over us and protect us. We might be dealing with a “storm” in our family, or a “storm” at work or school, or even a “storm” within ourselves. Regardless of the fear and frustrations that we may be facing, our faith in God will protect and guide us. He gives each of us the strength to call out, “Quiet! Be Still!” when life presents us challenges.
As these spring storms continue to pound Texas, please keep those residents in our thoughts and prayers. Offer them your prayers of support as they prepare to weather yet another storm.
Blessings, Deacon Steve
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC