We've all heard the terrifying words and phrases over the last few weeks: pandemic, unprecedented situation, death toll, monster disease, out of control, mass quarantine, and others.
With all the questionable news reporting and frantic behavior going on all around us, our challenge remains to keep calm and continue trusting in our Heavenly Father.
But be honest, now. Are you afraid?
If so, you should not feel shame. I think of the story in the Bible of Jesus calming the storm. He and His guys got into the boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A life-threatening storm blew up, terrifying the men. All the men except for Jesus. He lay soundly sleeping down in the bottom of the boat. (We can read this story in three places: Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.)
Though a simple little story, a few things stick out to me:
1. A life-threatening situation emerged.
2. The men were afraid.
3. They went to Jesus and told him they were afraid.
4. He calmed the storm and saved them.
Notice, Jesus did not belittle them for being afraid.
Also, he did not want them to feel guilty for being frightened. In storms like this one, Christians bear a lot of pressure to be the "light in this darkness," almost to the point that we should have no feelings of fear, and if we do, we must deny them.
Here's the fine line: Jesus understood they were afraid, but he didn't want them to reside in their fear. Thus he asked them, "Where is your faith?" He wanted them to evaluate - they could feel afraid but not live resigned to it.
To deny ever being afraid is to deny being a human.
Our Lord is a good, good father, and I can almost imagine Him saying to them, "You silly gooses. Come here. Let's see together what I can do. It's just a passing storm."
Are you afraid? I am. And I'm fine being honest about it. I've never passed through this storm before.
But, I know Who holds every storm in His hands, and I plan to ride this storm by staying tucked within His loving embrace.
Join me there?