Friday, November 2, 2012

Fearful


Why Are You So Fearful?

Mark 4:35-41
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Jesus was preaching before a large crowd and as other times before, got into a boat to teach because the crowd was so massive they pressed Him all the way to the water's edge. The only way He could get some space between Himself and the crowd and say what He wanted to say was to get in a boat and get off the shore into the water a little bit. We could probably assume that people had brought the sick and the needy to Him and there was healing going on as well as a challenging day of teaching. Christ, being exhausted by now, was most likely going over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee just to get a bit of a rest. There were many occasions when He did that, when He tried to escape the crushing crowd.  

As there arose a fierce wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up, Jesus, being in the stern of the boat, was now asleep on a pillow. The disciples awoke Him and said to Him, 'Master, do You not care that we are perishing? How can you sleep when we are going through this?’ They panicked, panic is a normal human response to that kind of situation. They knew Jesus had power over demons and over disease and that He had power over the natural world as well as the supernatural world but, could He save them in this circumstance? Could He deliver them from a storm?

Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still.' The wind died down and became perfectly calm. Jesus said to the men in the boat, 'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?' They became exceedingly fearful and said to one another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? The water and the wind recognized the voice of their Creator, just as He would tell death to release Lazarus, He spoke and the wind and the waves obeyed His voice. 

The disciples were afraid during the storm and then feared exceedingly when the storm ceased. Why? The fear of a storm outside your boat is one thing but having the living God, the Creator and controller of all creation in your boat. That's enough to panic you and cause great anxiety and fear. You might ask, “What kind of a reaction is that?” It may be a reaction of someone who now understands that the Creator of this universe is in control of all living things even the wind and the waves and communicates His deity in the expression of power over any storm.

Why are we afraid of the storms of life when the Sovereign Creator of this world lives within us? How can we be fearful of any circumstance that comes into our life when Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, dwells in our mortal bodies? There are no obstacles which our Savior’s  love and power cannot overcome. No storm to fierce, no trial to hard, no mountain to high and no heartache to deep that we need be afraid. The strong winds of fear may invade our minds but, when Christ, “The Captain of Sea” speaks, may we surrender full command of the storm in our life to the One who can calm the raging sea and bring PEACE to our troubled soul.

Thought: In the allegory, “Hind’s Feet on High Places,” Much-Afraid is hindered by her Fearing relatives and goes with the Shepherd to the High Places where “perfect love casteth out fear.” After much traveling, she reaches the shore of a great sea and the Shepherd reminders her that when ever she calls for him, he will come. He told her to believe what he said and practice it with joy. The Shepherd said to her, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me and when they are willing to obey me and follow the path of my choice, they will always be able to hear and recognize my voice.” 

Remember, it is always safe to obey, “The Master of the Sea,” even if He calls you to follow a path which looks impossible or asks you to enter a boat where the sea is unexpectedly stormy. You need not be fearful of the journey of His will because there is no fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear (I John 4:18.)

Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

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