In these odd and unusual times when there is so much uncertainty and anticipation of what is to come, as a christian it can be confusing. God’s word says “do not be anxious” “do not fear” yet those emotions are human and normal and most of us are feeling them in varying degrees.
Jesus is lying in the boat asleep when the storm is raging, while the disciples are frantically fearing for their lives (Mark 4:35-41). Their fear was that Jesus didn’t care -“teacher don’t you care if we drown”, he wanted them to know that he was with them and reassure them of their hope in him, remind them that they need only have faith. Maybe we think this means we shouldn’t fear, we should be able to face fear without fearing, lie still and be calm, peaceful, sleep easy. But this message isn’t helpful when we are scared and frightened of what is to come. I don’t think Jesus’s message here was that the disciples should have been blissfully devoid of fearing the storm- asleep, watching it rage and not attempting to save themselves and their boat. But He did want them to know that He was with them and He was calm, He was still and He ultimately has power greater than we can ever know.
I certainly know from experience and many others’ that trying desperately to fight fear and anxiety and be still is unhelpful, counterproductive and guilt inducing. The Jesus I know is most definitely not into me feeling guilty for fearing. The Jesus I know is with me in my fear, he was in the boat, not on the shore and he wanted the disciples to know that He was able to be the one who was calm and still. He sees our fear and our worries and he so desperately wants us to accept our feelings while trying to give them to him so he can minister to us and let him comfort us.
Jesus was human, I believe he felt fear. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses…” Hebrews 4:15. In the garden when he knew what suffering he was about to endure for us on the cross the bible says he felt ‘in anguish’ Luke 22:44. What did he do with his- he prayed, fervently. He took his to his father and that’s where we should take ours and remind ourselves that God is sovereign, that God is with us, He will not forsake us and we have a hope beyond the grave that no other faith provides.
“For you are with me, your rod and staff they comfort me” Psalm 23:4
Cassie is a mother, wife, doctor, mental illness survivor and sufferer, work-in-progress, Jesus follower.