I wrote this essay back when I was eighteen years old. I was sitting in a physics class on a Saturday school day. Sometimes, it was practically impossible to follow up with the teacher, whether because of the teacher’s methods of teaching, smell, or anything else. Each one of us has a certain reason not to focus in class. It could be one of the things mentioned above, or it could be something else – that girl, for instance, is thinking about her birthday party. That boy is texting a friend.
The options are infinite; we simply cannot list them all, but this means that everybody is concerned with something.
These days, everybody is worried about something. It could be something in the past or in the future. Interestingly, one seldom worries about anything happening right now in front of one’s eyes. Maybe the worry is a doubt. Maybe the worry is regret. No matter what, it is something that paralyzes us. I want to share a few thoughts about that with you today. When you look at this life, what do you see? Do you see buildings, cars and material things or do you see people? When I look at this life, I see people and when I see people, I cannot help but notice that there is a lot of pain in this world; a lot of people live under storms of trials and tribulations.
Maybe I was forced to look at the world this way since I was a little kid, because I grew up in a home where storms simply would keep on coming one after the other.
You see, I am twenty three years old today, and thankfully I still have two wonderful older sisters, as well as amazing parents, but throughout my life I will always view my family with a younger brother missing. And similarly, I see my life with a very close friend missing too.
My younger brother passed away seven years ago and, to be honest, doctors cannot explain what caused his death. He was seven years and a hundred days old, while I was eleven when it happened. It was a giant storm in our family. Even today, it keeps a certain pain in me not to know the medical cause behind all this. As for my friend, it was cancer that stole him away.
The battle lasted three years, and although my friend went into remission four times, he still crossed to the other side. A year has not yet passed since it happened. Even today, everyone remembers him with a huge smile. This makes us wonder: what was the root of that strength which kept a smile on my friend’s face throughout all that pain?
Today, he is very well-known for his last WhatsApp status, saying: “Faith is, smiling when you have a hundred reasons to cry!” He believed in a story, where a man called Yeshua and his friends were on a boat, crossing a lake, when suddenly a giant storm came out of nowhere and seized control of the ship. Desperate, everyone finds Yeshua sleeping at the rear end of the boat. They decide to wake him up, shouting: “Yeshua! We are about to drown. We are about to die. We are about to perish. Do you not care?”
Yeshua wakes up, looks at the raging storm and the powerful waves, and tells it all to stop. Suddenly, everything goes calm. His friends looked at each other, questioning themselves: “Who is this man that even the sky and earth obey?”
The lesson behind that most people miss out when they hear that story is the following: the storm was overhead, and Yeshua was there the whole time, but he did not intervene until his friends told him to. My two brothers called Yeshua to stop their own storms, and they strongly believed that they would be cured, whether it was here on earth, or in life to come.
So the question is not whether or not there are storms in this life.
The question is: “Have we called upon the name of the one who can push those storms back?”