Why Are You Afraid?

Why Are You Afraid?

“He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:40

Our family once took a canoe trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. At the time, our children were really young for a trip of this nature. We needed to think carefully about weight distribution and make allowances for their limited ability to paddle.

The morning we packed the canoes to head home, it became very windy. The winds were the front edge of a much bigger storm approaching. We decided to cross a large body of open water and get to a channel on the backside of an island. This channel would make it easier for us to navigate the wind. However, to cross the open water, we needed to canoe parallel to oncoming waves. This meant some rather large waves would hit the broadside of the canoe, pushing them to the verge of tipping over.  Each wave sent water into the canoes making them even more vulnerable to capsizing.

We were wearing lifejackets and would have been safe if we had swamped. Still, I didn’t want to be in the water if lightning began to strike. At the time, it was really a scary experience. Fortunately, we were able to make it safely to the channel and back home.

I think about that trip every time I read the story of Jesus calming the storm. My empathy is with the disciples. How can Jesus ask why the disciples are afraid? The reasons are all around them. What would suggest they should trust a teacher and healer to calm a storm? Controlling the forces of nature in the ancient world was radically different from healing.

Why are you afraid? There is a nervous apprehension consuming our nation. It just feels like there is a pending storm on the horizon. What would suggest to the culture they should trust in an invisible God to calm this storm? It would do us well to remember the storms Jesus calmed were real. So is the enduring peace his words bring to frightened soul.

Click to read: Mark 4: 35-41

Reflection Questions:

  • What was a terrifying moment in your life?
  • Where did you discover peace in or through the experience?
  • Where do you doubt Jesus’ ability to calm storms?
  • How can the words of Christ produce enduring peace?

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com and Matthew Clark

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