December 13, 2010

Don't Be Afraid!

Mark 4:35-41

[Jesus] said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?”
Mark 4:40


“Don’t be afraid.” That’s what the angel told a group of shepherds who were terrified (Luke 2:10).

The disciples in the boat also were terrified. In the stormy sea, their boat was about to go under. And yet Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid?”

Don’t be afraid! It sounds so easy, so attractive. Many of us would give almost anything if we could get rid of our fears. But the words “Don’t be afraid” simply don’t seem to fit the reality of our everyday lives. There are so many things to be afraid of. There are so many unexpected storms that can sweep us off our feet.

A lot of unanswered questions can throw us off and even panic us. Will my health last? Will my marriage survive? Will I be able to make my mortgage payments? How can I possibly support my family? Will I keep my job? Will there be enough food for my family to make it through another week?

For some of us, fear is a constant companion, robbing us of our joy.

Jesus came to calm our storms. In our Bible reading for today, he shows his power over the storms of nature. No mere human can stop those storms. He truly is God!

Jesus wants to stand next to us in our storms to calm our fears and to remind us that his power to bring peace is just as real today.

Lord, sometimes we get so afraid that we don’t know where to turn. Help us to turn to you, and remind us of your power over all things. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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