Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1, NIV
Fear. It can be a crippling emotion. Whether it is fear that stems from a previous brush with danger we never really got over. Or an irrational fear, we all have them.
Some of us are terrified of fire. While I am fascinated by the flicker of a flame as a candle burns, the thought of that flame getting out of control and consuming my home is an irrational fear of mine.
Some have a fear of bugs. Snakes. Anything that creeps and crawls.
Fears of heights. Planes. Elevators. Crowds. Clowns. The dark.
And then there is the fear of storms. Those that may rage in the night. That produce booms that shake us awake. Or the storms that rage in our lives and just turn things upside down.
Then he got into the the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:23-26, NIV
Yes, even the disciples were afraid. Even the men who spent so much time with Jesus, had watched him drive out demons, had witnessed many come to faith in God, heal the sick, even one of the disciples own, yet they still had little faith in Jesus ability to calm their fears in the midst of their storm.
See, we too are often afraid to give up control of the oars. We fear that if we let go, we will stop steering our boat on its own course and will sink and fail.
He knows our fears. He knows our brokenness and our human emotions. He is OK with all of that. He expects that when we steer through these storms. Encounter our fires. Our snakes. Our heights. That we will still have that shaky feeling in the pit of our stomach that tells us something we dread is up ahead.
And, while we may have a sinking feeling in our stomach, we also have something else to sustain us through these trials and storms as well. The spirit that resides in us. The one placed in us when we put our trust and faith in the one who is captain of our ship.
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
We simply have to put our trust in him. To let him pick up the oar. Guide us through the storm. Give us the peace that will overcome that bottomless pit of dread that may threaten to overcome us. To drive out the fear that threatens to drown us, and that will guide us safely to shore.