“Do not be afraid” is an extremely popular command in the
Bible – it is mentioned well over one hundred times. It is more popular than
the command to “love one another.” Maybe, it is because God knows we have such
a high propensity for fear: fear of the unknown – fear of change – fear of
death – fear of inadequacy – fear of disappointment – fear of disapproval – fear
of losing control. The list goes on. The pandemic, the economy and the
political climate have exponentially exposed some of our deepest fears.
Frankly, how can many of us not be afraid when a lot of things seem uncertain
In Matthew 8: 23 – 27, Jesus was travelling with his disciples on a boat across the sea of Galilee when a sudden tempest arose. Jesus was asleep while his disciples were freaking out and they were afraid they were going to die. They woke up Jesus, saying “Lord save us, we are perishing.” Several of these men were experienced fishermen (Matt. 4: 18 – 22); so, they were most likely remarkably familiar with rough seas and storms. For these experienced fishermen to be so afraid that they had to wake up Jesus screaming for help, it must have been one awfully bad storm that was beyond their expertise and ability to handle. When Jesus got up, He responded, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith.” Every time I read this story, I cannot help but think: “Duh, do you not see this tempest our here Jesus? Can you not see what is going on?” The disciples had valid, compelling, and immediate reasons to be afraid, and so do many of us today. Many of us are in these dreadful and unforeseen circumstances that are beyond our ability to handle. And just like the disciples on the boat, we might be asking Jesus “Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing?” Lord, don’t you care that I might lose my home? Lord, don’t you care about my kids not being in school? Lord, don’t you care about my “loved one” being terminally ill? Lord, don’t you care that I am so depressed? Lord, don’t you care that I lost this person that I loved so much? Lord, don’t you care ____________________ (feel free to fill in the blank whatever your frustration, pain, worry or fear might be). We should never be afraid to bring our questions, frustration, pain, and fear to God. Read the book of Job and see for yourselves how many questions Job had for God. However, are we ready for the answer. I believe the answer to this question, Lord, don’t you care, would be: “Why are you afraid?”
Jesus wanted his disciples to lean into their faith instead of their fear. Also, the disciples have seen with their own eyes all the miracles Jesus had done so far. Therefore, the presence of Jesus Christ in the boat with them was all they needed to weather the storm. Brothers and sisters, when you are afraid, put your trust in God (Psalm 56: 3). When you are afraid, remember God is in the boat with you weathering the storm.
PS. Read Psalm 91 and Pray for God’s providence and protection over your home and the Church family,
I love you all
Grace and Peace