When I was a child I was terrified of everything. My fears were both rational and irrational. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized how much fear was preventing me from fully enjoying life.
My fears reached a breaking point when our staff went to a challenge course. The course had climbing elements forty feet above the ground. My wife attacked the course without hesitation and was having the time of her life, while I stood on the ground paralyzed by fear. I was jealous of her joy. So I determined right there to conquer my fear.
What helped me was a method I continue to use to this day. When confronted with something scary, I determine what I can trust and what I can control. If the thing I trust can reasonably protect me from what I can and cannot control, I’m good to go.
In today’s reading, Jesus and the disciples are in a boat threatened by waves. The disciple’s fears are reasonable. They are fisherman. They know boats like theirs sink in these conditions and its passengers drown. Jesus responds by telling them they have little trust.
The lesson is simple, trust Jesus in situations you cannot control. Actually, I find trusting Jesus in situations beyond my control very natural. When nothing I do works and I’m at my very lowest, trusting Jesus is all I’ve got. It’s when I have control, or think I have control, where trust becomes an issue.
Today I invite you to consider what it means to trust Jesus in situations you control. What does it look like to trust Jesus in doing your job? Or, in being a parent to your children? Or, in being a friend? I believe this kind of trust can move you from fear to peace. (Mt 8:23-27)