Many years ago when our children were very small we took a family vacation out east to P.E.I. It was one of the best vacations ever! We slept in a lighthouse and it was such a cool experience. At one point on the trip we decided to take a boat excursion. We were not very far along on the journey when all of a sudden the dark clouds rolled in and a violent thunderstorm broke out. I remember the high waves and the boat being tossed about. Even though the top of the boat was covered, water still began to flood the inside. It did not help things when the captain of the ship said something like “This is terrible. I have never been in the boat during a storm as bad as this. We should be ok though” We were all just a little nervous to say the least. I remember my heart pounding a little faster and my stomach in turmoil. One of our sons was so scared that he peed his pants. Fear can really mess with us and bring havoc to our lives.
This real life storm reminded me of another real life storm that happened back in the time when Jesus walked on the earth.
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So, they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat and it began to fill with water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm. Then he asked them “Why were you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:34-40
The disciples had Jesus in the boat with them and yet they still were afraid. Is it possible to have fear and faith at the same time? I don’t think so. I don’t think they can coincide at the same time. The thing that amazes me is that even though there was a massive storm and the disciples were afraid for their lives, Jesus slept. How can one sleep when the storm is raging all around? And even though there was great chaos, Jesus wasn’t concerned or worried by it at all. All he had to do was speak to the waves and all was calm again.
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lay down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord will keep me safe.
Psalm 3:5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety for the Lord was watching over me.
Recently we asked the children in our Bible classes (in Honduras), what they were afraid of. They said things like rats, cockroaches, clowns, and gunshots. One girl said loneliness. And I think if we were honest with ourselves, there are things that we are afraid of too. I can be a bit insecure at times so for me it is things like the fear of being alone, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of not saying the right thing. Many people have the fear of public speaking. I am also afraid of rats. I have seen rats the size of cats here.
The bible says in Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid I will put my trust in you.
We can remember that no matter what we are afraid of or what storm we are going through that our Saviour is with us. He’s not going to leave us high and dry. He’s not going to leave us alone to face our fears by ourselves.
There are some practical things that we can do to increase our faith when we are feeling afraid or are in the midst of chaos. Reading and memorize scriptures, praise and worship and prayer…talking to God and remembering the good things he has done in our lives. And here’s a tip….write those scriptures down so you can go back and read them again and again when those times of fear come knocking at the door.
Isaiah 26:3,4 you will keep in in perfect peace, all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord is the eternal rock.