Friends, in this wonderful story of the calming of the storm at sea, we witness the spiritual dynamics of fear and trust. Making their way across the lake, the disciples stand symbolically for all of us journeying through life. When they confront the mighty waves, they are immediately filled with terror. Similarly, when the trials and anxieties of life confront us, the first reaction is fear.
Jesus is “asleep on a cushion.” He stands for the divine power that is “asleep” within all of us. He symbolizes that divine energy which remains unaffected by the fear-storms generated by the grasping ego.
At a spiritual level, we see that this divine power successfully calms the waves: “He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’”
This beautiful narrative suggests that if we but awaken to the presence of Christ within us, then we can withstand even the most frightening storms. When, at the close of the story, Jesus asked the bewildered disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” he is wondering why they have not yet experienced the change of heart necessary for living in the kingdom of God.