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A Lesson on Fear

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Mark 4:35-41 

Would I, as a disciple, have been thinking much the same as them? Do you not care that we are dying here? The all-knowing God who created the world asked His followers to cross a sea, a sea that He knew would be unsettled that night. The waves were high and the wind blinding– at that moment, all the men saw was the imminent death before them. They knew the sea. They were fishermen. This was not a new path they were walking (or sailing). These waters were familiar. Yet, during a storm, they were frightened. They knew the circumstance was entirely out of their control. 

Jesus was in the boat. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” Here, Jesus was with them in human form. He was literally visible, right there. But Jesus was sleeping. The sound of the wind and the water filling the boat did not stir Him. Only when the disciples called on Him “Teacher!” he awoke and immediately calmed the storm. He asked them, “Why are you so afraid.” Right then, their understanding of His power shifted, and the following sentence tells us, “And they were filled with a great fear and said, who is this that even the wind and the waves obey Him.”

The first fear was of the natural sort; panic, anxiety, dread. The second was of the right kind; to fear the Lord is to be in reverent awe of His majesty and understanding His power over nature and all things. 

The opposite of faith is not doubting– it is FEAR. 

I learned this lesson last summer as I battled a stronghold of anxiety. The first step to overcoming it in my own life was realizing that living anxious and fearful was unbelief. Because if I really believe my God is who He says He is, I cannot fear circumstances in this life. This is why, after Jesus asks why they were so afraid, He asks have you still no faith. (Mark 4:40)

And again, in Mark 5:36, this idea is displayed. As followers of Christ, we are not meant to live in fear or anxiety. This faith that Jesus spoke of that would have kept them from fear is the complete trust in Him and His purposes, knowing that we are in God’s hands and He is in perfect control of every aspect of life. 

To the disciples, Jesus was asleep. It seemed He did not care about their trial. But, as Jesus was asleep in the boat, He was still the Son of God, the one who never slumbers nor sleeps. (Psalm 121:4) His eye was on them, and His care for them did not cease. 

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Hi! I’m Rachel. Through a series of God orchestrated events I ended up in Haiti, in 2017.  Through years of serving with a ministry there I came to love the country and its people. I met Nelson and we got married in 2020. It was the best decision of my life! 

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