What Are You Afraid Of?
Read Mark Chapter 4
Mk 4:35 That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”
The storms of life can be very frightening, especially when we incorrectly believe that our Lord is asleep and not watching out for us. The disciples were perfectly safe, sailing with Christ in their boat. Even though Jesus was “asleep,” there was never any danger that the boat would sink and the disciples perish. Golly, what a great lesson for us to learn! What are you afraid of? What storm is the one which causes you the most anguish and fear? Is it loneliness, depression, financial woes, loss of a job, or something else?
No matter what we encounter in this life, our Lord is by our side. We SSA men are very prone to believe that Jesus is asleep and not paying attention to the trials of our lives. The battles we face with our same-sex temptations, and the resulting circumstances which are inherent with SSA, can leave us to think God doesn’t care. It makes us believe that we are alone in the storm, or in the example of the disciples, that we as a collective group are facing our trials alone. That is never, ever, true!
Our God is in the boat with us. He knows that the storm rages. At times we know that, and at other times we question that fact. What we fail to understand in both cases is that He has everything under control. He sees the end result of the storms we endure. He sees that day when the storm will calm down and we will be basking in the victory that has been won. He isn’t concerned over our dilemma, because He sees far into the future. He knows what the finished product looks like. Yes, He is concerned over how well we are handling our battles, but not concerned that we will not be able to ride out the storm. He knows we will, because He is in the boat with us.
When we are not handling the storm well, which is much too often, He will “awaken” and calm the storm. There will be other storms, but the one at hand is taken care of as we call on Him. Then He says to us, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Among the lessons we need to learn is that our fears are unfounded. Every time we experience the fears surrounding us in our SSA battles, we need to remember that our fears are unfounded. Instead of fearing, we should exercise our faith and remember that Christ is in the boat with us, in full control of the situation.
Let’s look at one other point. If we are asking Christ to take away our same-sex attractions and believe that to be the only solution to our problem, we may be disappointed. Maybe that will happen, but not likely. God never promised to keep us from experiencing storms nor did He specify how that deliverance would come about. He only promised that we would be delivered.
Remember that the disciples had another encounter with a storm. In that one, Jesus was not in the boat with them. That time, He was out on the water, walking safely on the water in the storm. He was fully aware of their dilemma and had no intention of allowing the disciples to come to harm. He doesn’t have to be physically present, either for the disciples or for us. His spiritual presence in the form of the Holy Spirit is more than adequate for whatever we are facing.
Prayer: Forgive us for our weak faith. Forgive us when we fear when there is nothing to fear. I am often guilty of that weakness of faith. Remind us often that You are fully engaged in our lives; which should give us complete assurance that the storm is harmless.