Christ calms the storm and the disciples become “frightened” (Mt. 8:27), that is “afraid of God”. The Greek expression that Matthew uses is ethaumasan (ἐθαύμασαν), which is the conjunction of the verb thaumazó (θαυμάζω). This verb appears Forty-Four times in the New Testament and it can be translated as “marvelled”, “impressed”, “amazed”.
In the biblical context, it is generally used to describe the reaction towards a divine manifestation, by concluding that the “surprise” or “fright” comes from the understanding of the “marvels of God”. In fact, “marvel” in Greek is thauma (θαυμάζω), and it is from this work that comes the verb thaumazó (θαυμάζω).
Is God in the stillness?
In the passage of the calming of the storm, the disciples are “amazed, “impressed” or “frightened: because they recognise the divinity of Jesus when he shows his authority over nature.
Well, in the many travels told in the Scriptures in which the Apostolic College accompany their Master by boat (Mk 1:2-20; Jn 6:1), the sea stays calm, there were no strong winds nor storms. The divinity of Jesus is not recognised in neither of these cases. The disciples were not “marvelled” because they safely crossed the sea, without any turbulences or major difficulties.
The question is: did the Lord also act in those occasions? Were those safe and problem-free trips also a manifestation of God’s care? Definitely so.
God is always with us (Mt 28:20; Js 1:9) He conducts us to calm waters (Ps23 (22), 2) He cares for us, and He never leaves us (Dt 31:8).
Not only in the storms of life, but also in the calm breeze, God manifests himself (1 Kg 19:12).
Who do we seek, Truly?
Nonetheless, it appears, that we are only able to recognise the acts of God when we are amidst a storm and He intervenes. Otherwise, we hardly consider Him during our days. When we have problems, when we are in the middle of a discernment, when our health is at risk or someone close to us is suffering, that is when we beg, we kneel and invest our time in prayer and in the various acts of piety.
However, when we are “well”, we do not pray (and if we do pray, we don’t do it with as much determination); we forget about confession, and about mass; we do not remember that the Eucharistic Jesus awaits us at the chapel to be adored. This behaviour evidently shows how indifferent we are to the One who loves us so dearly.
Still we seek the “miracles of God” but not the “God of miracles”
Don’t wait for the turbulence: acknowledge the love in ordinary life
It seems that we need a storm to be able to shout: “Lord, save us! We are dying!”, without realising that the indifference towards God is a worst death than any turbulence or storm that we may be threatened with.
If you are crossing the sea and a great big storm appears, do not be afraid! Trust in God! He has power over everything! He is with you!
If you are crossing the sea and it is calm, praise the Lord! Give thanks! Do not forget about the One who is knocking on the door (Rv 3:20), always wanting to enter further into your life.
Do not be afraid to, like the disciples, walk in all circumstances beside the Master.
Translation: Gabriela Gois