Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)
- TITLE: Why Are You so Afraid?
By Ernest Yoder
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Pete glanced worriedly at his brother Andy and then back up at the lowering sky as the wind began lifting the spray from the waves over the bow of their sturdy fishing boat. “What a predicament to be in!” he thought to himself. They were accustomed to this lake, having fished it all their lives for a living. Storms could be expected from time to time. They had learned how to cope with these caprices of nature mostly by staying ashore when bad weather threatened. But this one had pounced unexpectedly. It was working itself into an extraordinarily perfect storm. There were eleven of his closest friends aboard, including James and John, brothers also, and no mean fishermen and sailors themselves. All who had an oar were rowing. As they fell under the sweep of his gaze he could tell that they too sensed the gravest of situations was coming upon them.
There was another Friend, Jesus, on the boat with them. Pete could not see Him from his vantage point because He was sound asleep in the back of the boat. How could He sleep in the face of such a gale? Pete and the rest of them did not want to disturb Him because He had had a strenuously busy day. His body needed the rest. In fact, it may have been the unceasing crush of the crowd that prompted Jesus to “(give) orders to cross to the other side of the lake.” (Mt. 8:18 NIV) Physically Jesus was at the end of His tether and Pete and the rest knew that.
By now the storm was getting to such a point of severity that they began entertaining thoughts of rousing Jesus to make Him aware of the serious situation they were getting into. They had to shout at each other to be heard. Again Pete marveled at how in the world could He manage to sleep on so? Finally they could wait no longer. Those nearest to Him shouted and shook Him awake. But to everyone’s consternation it made no difference in His demeanor. He was just as calm awake as He was asleep. Gently He chided their lack of faith with, “Why are you so afraid?” Gently He reproved their fear. Then with quiet authority He “rebuked” (v.26) the vehement storm and more quickly than it started it stopped and everything became calm, even the wildly beating hearts of Pete and his eleven friends.
Stupefied they looked at each other. Had they all simultaneously just been through a bad dream? No, it could not conceivably have been a dream. It was as real as their wide eyed faces. Again Jesus had astounded them. He always had a way out, a fix, a solution, an answer. He never got flustered. Their faith undoubtedly was stimulated and enlarged.
Dear Christian friends, Jesus is now and forever, still like He was on the stormy Sea of Galilee. Let Him use your storms to challenge and enlarge your faith. Let your faith in Him take you through your storms. Pete and his friends were amazed. Are you?
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