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Photo: Enigma Sports

"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

Jesus sleeping

Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. Matthew 8:24

I was very struck by the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his good-bye speech. "I have felt like St Peter with the apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days in which the catch has been abundant; [then] there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us … and the Lord seemed to be sleeping”.

I was touched by this practical application of a familiar passage. Are there days when life is difficult for you and Jesus seems to be sleeping?

Perhaps you are out of contact, injured, not in the team, not performing to the level you know you can… Perhaps you are praying earnestly for a solution to a problem or for someone. There is no answer; Jesus seems to be sleeping. It was very helpful of the pope to acknowledge that these moments exist. St John of the cross called it “The dark night of the soul”.

The context of Matthew 8 suggests that Jesus was testing the faith of the disciples and then reminding them that he is in control. That can be a helpful lesson for us too. So if you are struggling at the moment and Jesus seems to be sleeping, be encouraged. You are in good company! And be doubly encouraged because Jesus is not really asleep; he knows and cares.

Then there are the times when I am sleeping and Jesus is awake - but that is another story.

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