“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) Those are two of my favorite questions that Jesus asks in the Gospels. Simple, to the point, not easily misinterpreted. I think Jesus first statement in verse 35, “Let’s go across to the other side”, sheds a little light on why he asks these two things. Jesus flat out told his friends that they were going to the other side. Yet moments after he told them, essentially, that he was going to take care of them, they are yelling, “DON’T YOU CARE!” In the midst of the storm and the fear they forgot Jesus first words to them, “Let’s go to the other side.” Jesus has already promised that he will take them there. He doesn’t promise that there will be no storm, he promises that they will make it through. But, their panic and fear had short-circuited their brains. It blinded them to what they had witnessed in the very recent past. It kept them from remembering the miracles this very Lord who was in the boat with them had performed. In their fear, they saw only the pain that could quickly follow.
Fear makes us react irrationally at times, it shuts down our brain and it blinds us to the possibilities that are in front of us. How often in our storms and trials do we forget His promise to us? We get caught up in the storms of our lives and we stay there, yet he has promised that he will rescue us and take us to the other side. It’s normal to be afraid when threatening circumstances happen. And it only makes good sense to use cautionary concern. But it is fear that makes us cry out, “Lord, don’t you care?” as did the disciples.
And so Jesus awoke, saw their fear and immediately took care of the situation that was causing their fear. He calmed the wind and the sea with His word: “BE STILL.” Maybe your feel like one of the disciples that day, or maybe you’ve got life pretty figured out, but here’s one thing we do know: Jesus wants to calm the storms of our lives, keep us from drowning, and take us to the other side of whatever it is that is in front of us. May we not fear, but believe.