By Pastor Royston Smith
Water came crashing from all directions filling the little boat as it danced violently on the waves. The seasoned, seafaring fishermen had never experienced anything like this before. They were in unchartered waters, literally! Their lives flashed before their eyes. This they thought was the end. When we experience fear, adrenaline floods the bloodstream resulting in an increased heart rate, weakness in the limbs, profuse sweating, shallow breathing and a myriad of other symptoms collectively referred to as the physiological response. Yes, the disciples faced a raging storm. (Mark 4:35-38) How could He sleep at a time like this? Does He not care that we are about to drown?
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”Mark 4:39-40
Fear is no respecter of social standing or academic achievement. Our inbuilt fear response is a means of protection from impending or perceived dangers that threaten our ability to survive. Fear is not always negative; at times a small amount is beneficial. It keeps us on our toes and challenges us to succeed. The key lies in our ability to classify our fears appropriately; is it a beneficial or a negative fear? Whatever controls your mind dictates your present and future condition. Consider this Japanese Proverb, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”
A true story captures the essence of this proverb. A little blind girl was trapped in a burning building perched on a fourth-floor window. The firemen couldn’t get to her and so they asked to jump into the net below. There was no convincing her, she couldn’t see, they were strangers, she was terrified, in fact paralysed by fear. Finally, her father came along and asked her to jump into the net below. Without hesitation, she did. The familiar voice of her father was her ‘peace be still’ her lifeline.
The mind is a powerful thing that when combined with trust in God, fervent prayer and hard work, the possibilities are endless. The Apostle Paul highlighted that if our minds are controlled by Christ our fears can be paralyzed and the negative emotional powers over our lives will be eradicated and we will thrive. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we read, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Take every thought captive… Praise God our fears can be controlled and defeated!
No matter what the circumstance, a mind controlled by God quells fear. Fear becomes an opportunity and not a stumbling. Inspirational writer Ellen White wrote, “The will (mind) is the governing power (human beings). If the will is set right, all the rest of the being will come under its sway.” Mark 4: 39 – 41, So, they came and woke Jesus, asking, “Teacher, do you not care that we perish?” Jesus woke up, stilled the storm and calmed their fears. When we are afraid, get in the company of someone who isn’t scared. Realize that Jesus can calm our fears because He is never scared, and He is always available to us! When fear has you bound, just call on the name of Jesus.
Father God, thank you for the promise that you will calm my anxieties just like you did for the disciples in that boat. Help me to cast all my cares upon you and experience your peace, in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.