We all face challenges every single day of our life. As Scott Peck wrote, “Life is difficult. You have not been singled out for persecution!” A young couple loses their still-born baby at eight months. A soldier discovers he has a heart condition that might bring his career to a premature end. After 60 years of marriage a man dies and his widow is left alone to grieve and find a new rhythm and purpose for her life. A professor “gets an early retirement” because some of his peers are jealous of his popularity with the students. And then there is the mundane list of things that can and do go wrong: the washing machine breaks down, the car gets a flat tire and the roof leaks. When the storms of life attack us, it is easy to lose heart. We yearn to understand: “Why is this happening to us?” We grieve the loss of dreams: “Will I ever feel such joy again?” We are filled with self-doubt: “What did I do wrong?” “Why didn’t I …?” We look at life with a sense of dread: “What’s going to happen to me next?”
In the midst of a terrorizing storm, Jesus came to His disciples and restored their faith by stretching out His hand and commanding them: “Take heart, it is I (“I, I am”); do not be afraid.”
Jesus is with you, too, just as He promised. He is your life and He is with you every day, facing all of your daily challenges with you. You are never alone because He is with you, giving you real comfort, strength, and hope through His Word and sacraments. In your Baptism He came to dwell in you as you were raised from death and reborn in Christ to eternal life. He dwells with you every day, especially the days when one thing after the next goes wrong, as you fulfill your calling to His kingdom and serve your neighbor until Christ comes again. He is here for you, inspiring you, comforting you, and sustaining you with His body and His blood at His table: “Eat My bread… Drink My cup… Take heart, it is Me, and I’m here to save you. I’ve come to drive away all of your fear, all of your dread, all of your tragedies. I am here to forgive your sins and give you a New Life that will last forever.
No matter how difficult or how easy your life is, Jesus Christ is with you always. He suffered on the cross to make you His own, and rose from the dead to give you faith in Him and His cross. He is with you, guiding you and protecting you from every evil. In the storms of daily life His voice breaks through: “Take heart, it is Me, your Savior. And I am with you always, forever and ever.” Amen.