Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

The S.S. Giuseppe Verdi was a Italian passenger ship that transported immigrants to Ellis Island from 1915 to 1928.

When the Waves Get Rough…

My grandmother and my aunt emigrated from Italy in 1927 aboard the S.S. Giuseppe Verde to meet up with my grandfather here in America. During the voyage, a terrible storm occurred, causing the gigantic vessel to be tossed violently by the waves. As people cried and screamed in terror, many of them knelt down and began praying to God to make it safely. My aunt was only five years old and didn’t comprehend that she probably should’ve been frightened like everyone else.

This story reminded me of how the disciples also cried out in fear when their boat was being violently tossed by waves on a couple different occasions. 

On one occasion, the Bible says, But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary (Matthew 14:24). Jesus came to His disciples walking on the water and invited Peter to come to Him. Peter made the attempt, but started to fear when the waves got rough. The Bible says, But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31).

On a separate occasion, the disciples encountered a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship (Mark 4:37).  This time, they woke the Lord from sleeping in the boat and cried out because they thought they were going to die. Jesus got up, calmed the raging sea and then chastised them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40.

Jesus delivered His disciples in both situations, but also expected them to exercise faith during the storms. Likewise, He will deliver us when the waves of life get rough. But how do we react when the storms of life get going? Do we panic and cry out? Well, if we do, Jesus will come to our rescue. However, He wants us to exhibit faith during life’s difficulties. We can be fully confident that Jesus will deliver us from the rough waters swirling around us in due time.